My spirit paces like a captive bear,
set limits by a fence of tempered steel,
that with its shadows marks its deadening seal
on concrete ground that passes for my lair.
Why is it when I'm doing what dogs do,
what dogs are designed to do,
then I'm a Bad Dog?
I want you, but can I trust you?
The things you say excite me,
but I’ve heard them said before:
sweet words dry up too soon,
The fridge sits purring happily
in the corner of my kitchen,
(On seeing Umberto Boccioni's 1911 painting 'States of Mind-The Farewells')
Couples kiss in khaki shadows,
cascading into carriages' cavernous mouths.
Prussian, powder, ultramarine,
cerulean and idanthrene,
turquoise, navy, duck egg, royal,
Into the warm, inviting yellow
twists a brush loaded with blue.
the shades swirl round each other,
Will wants to be a TV presenter,
Matthew a cricketer, Charlotte a nurse.
Nathan has his heart set on being a mechanic
- and Gareth wants to be a crayon.
The groundbass of the roaring roadway
is overlaid by the rhythmic rustle of leaves,
topped by a syncopated pigeon,
the growl of a farmer sawing,
He used to get his thrills up in the attic
with a Kodak Instamatic,
flashcube popping to illumine your legs,
stopping only to develop and print
(A friend's uncle once asked why there weren't any poems about Mars Bars. This is why.)
Nails glinting in the glow of candlelight,
she grips the bar and gently pulls apart
They say you nearly died when you were two,
miraculously saved by surgeon’s art,
your pain immense. Outside, like some spare part,
your mum knew there was nothing she could do.
would roost each night in the middle one
of the three tall trees at my garden's end,
every night the flock of crows,
every night the middle tree,
You forgot if it was day or night
until you breathed the blitz-burnt air
outside at watch's end.
Weather, seasons, all the same,
Three photos in an black-paper album:
the schoolboy (sharp) in the family group,
the youth (blurred) playing tennis,
the student (faded) on the bridge;
As soon as we finally get to sleep
in the sweaty Parisian heat
- it seems that way, at least -
then the binmen bring their wagon
With the bombing of the docks
and the Scotland Road boozers
you'd think Goering had it in
for Filthy Phoebe and her like.
She reclines, half-silhouetted
against the bright North London morning.
Sheets, once crisp, now crumpled,
lie in submission at her feet
Of Welsh descent, Bill Thomas is currently a teacher of Religious Studies, History & Astronomy at Tewkesbury School in Gloucestershire, UK. As well as writing & performing poetry, in his spare time he takes pictures of postboxes & plays Subbuteo (flick-to-kick table soccer) . He is married, with two stepchildren & a permanent puzzled expression while trying to look for things that were there just a moment ago.)
through paper jaws...
transformed, transfigured -
let me dry my wings.