Thursday, 03 October 2019 08:47

National Poetry Day: Re-union

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in Poetry
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National Poetry Day: Re-union

re-union / night at the museum
(the wallaw, blyth.)

by Paul Summers
with images by Chris Killip

'spoons' is stowed;
its crowded bar
a wedge of thirst,
an eager slick
of growing agitation,
blunt confluence
of unhealed wounds,
a tumour of attrition,
a smudged tattoo
whose tattered edges
relish in contagion.
we worship at the altar
of the cut-price crowd,
this sepulchre
of misplaced faith,
a reliquary of losses
& every empty victory,
of stagnant empire's
tattered standards,
of struggle & toil,
of all our dead parents
& awkward divorces ,
of capped shafts
& yards left idle,
of empty shops
& factories grown quiet
of rotting staithes,
of thrift & forgetting
of youth & truth,
of every scant memorial.
communion
in the trauma
of century's neglect.
we meet to remember.
the absurd theatre
of our former selves,
a wake for our imagined pasts.
we drink it all in,
raise toasts to the absent
& to all our frail futures,
whose faces have grown grey
through scarcity of care
here, where empties
form a barricade
across the bar;
bleak jager-bombs
explode like hope
above our heads;
each sickly shot
a warning from history.
we cultivate our spite,
our rhetoric primed,
cementing our dogmas
in monoliths of settled dust.
here, within this cube
of flickering walls
we learned our fear
of sharks & war,
our love of love,
the warmth of kisses,
curled like cats,
in dark back rows,
beneath an arrowhead
of magic light.

TWCMS 2017 2326 resized

Read 144 times Last modified on Thursday, 03 October 2019 08:59
Paul Summers

Paul Summers is a Northumbrian poet, performer and literary activist.

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