Metallic (a word sketch)

low on the water, a sea bird curves and turns
shore lapping the sound of
deeper water dark bobbing with black
low flight and cry
as it circles and lands
sheen of metallic blue
breathing
the underwings of a gull
all blue – the forth and sky –
cold light rolling
patterns of light on the water
a curlew cries
oystercatchers in a line
sky and river horizon
low the flick of wings
not touching the water

Lunchtime Rush

Light on the street puddles,
Silver glinting on upturned aluminium.

A man in a wheelchair pushed by his wife
Points with his stick, leading:

Three oversized and dressed in grey and in a line together
Then one pink one purple
Hair permed in conversation
and hands in pocket bounce of kids
row of six eating pizza
laughing heads back free
as his bald head down to steady
slow the push against the wind,
a paper bag, blowing.

A man walks past
with feathers in his hat,
like a soldier,
from another time.

Three shadows talk the corner.
A young man bends to light a cigarette,
fluid, slow – a dance.

Then two hand in hand
And two walking sticks
Slowly one and then the other
And she shaking wired as she clutches at the phone
And he counting pennies,
Looking careful at his hand,
Like a soldier,
From another time.

Two old sticks.
A purple rain cap.
The street sweeper jacket bright.
All like a dance.

Sweeping the Streets

blowing smoke into the cold morning
silently the street sweeper
stooped with a cap and she moving slowly
phone to her ear and lips on a cigarette
the cart of
bus spewing passengers
her hair dyed maroon

shards of broken glass and stubs of cigarettes
the cart on the cobbles and a dog pulls the lead
a pair of brown shoes marching past
and the cart on the cobbles
a seagull in the pale blue sky and
three pigeons on the chimney
above Poundstretchers.

she sits, waiting,
and a sign don’t feed the gulls.
two pairs of women’s red shoes,
walking in rhythm,
the wings of a seagull.
schoolkids shuffle in big coats, laughing,
the paws of a dog on the stone.

The Big Sleep (A Sketch)

she curls the ends of her hair
in her mouth
what are you, a prize fighter?

nothing but a tartan blanket
in a wheelchair

I like to see people drink
rotten sweetness –
not much to tell.

cuffs rolled up
again?
again

the light in the old man’s eyes –
that was what hurt.
next time I’ll come on stilts.

thumbs on the brandy glass,
holding,
just what is it you’re afraid of?

an erratum on page one sixteen

umbrellas past the window
she unclasps her hair

(sketch notes from ten minutes watching The Big Sleep)