Tuesday, 09 June 2020 13:26

Balloons

Written by
in Poetry
143
Balloons
Balloons
 
by Martin Rowson
 
Each night they tied a fresh balloon to
    A fence post in the field.
You could see them from the by-passed old coast road,
    A bouncing pinprick beyond the nettles
Each balloon the same dull colour as
    The last one, pukish ochre,
        But each day with new words scrawled on its paunch.
 
The words came clumped in phrases of three words
    In large and childish letters,
Illegible to the rare, far off and speeding traffic
    From across the scrub and cowpats,
Whereas the kine and sheep and creatures of the soil
    Clearly cannot read.
        Daily, a fresh balloon's there nonetheless.
 
The harvest mice and corncrakes speculated
    This is an angel's lung,
Opaque inside from layers of caked mucus, a
    Mysterious gift of hope from God.
Some bank voles scoffed. A porcupine's insides,
    They swore. The earthworms laughed.
        Although yellow the balloons smell faintly malty.
 
On windy days the balloons thrash in seizure;
    Flop limply when the sun shines;
Drum meaningless staccato freeform riffs
    During summer cloudbursts,
Deflating slowly through the long, dull afternoon
    Into shrivelled condoms
        Pierced with petty uselessness and protection against nothing

            After dusk.

Read 143 times Last modified on Saturday, 13 June 2020 16:15
Martin Rowson

Martin Rowson is a multi-award-winning cartoonist, writer and broadcaster. Photo: Fred Rowson.