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Thursday, April 24, 2008

At Filey Brigg

Here melted the ice-age assassin’s
weapon leaving only
its glacier’s dross to point
the promontory’s finger of gritstone.

Here sea and shore grew impacted
like a sideways-on tooth,
the very rocks capricious, erratic.

I have lost all perspective.
Only the green sea’s heave could turn
these crosshatched cliffs to a plumb-line.
There is no telling how far down
the screaming gannets will dive.

The Roman signal station on the point
has seen the hordes coming.
Its fires are out. There is no
time for escape. Its rodent bones
are owl pellets, barbarian mice
gnawing at the ablative absolute.

Razorbills and guillemots in their dozens
have fallen dead out of the sky,
propped eyeless in rockpools.
I trace the clotheshorse folds
of their wings, hung out to dry.

Their breasts and wings are untouched.
Only their cause of death takes flight,
and the sewage outflow’s sunken capstan
gushing through scarves of loo-roll
steers our ship of fools
safely onto the rocks.

A group fans out on a shelf.
They are scattering ashes.
Sheen for sheen the brightness
missing from a dead auk’s eye
but all around me catches the waves’
green surge, is thrown upwards
with them, breaks on nothing
at all and scatters like ashes.


Little auk found here.


Patrick James said...

Great site and very enjoyable content... have added it to my RSS!Intelligent and picturesque! the poem also gave me much food for thought. Regards!

Mark Granier said...

I like the poem. One thing. Do you (or does the persona) HAVE to say 'loo-roll'? Maybe it's just me, but that polite, high-pitched double vowel always sets my teeth on edge. What about 'bog-roll' or (if that's too landscapy) just 'toilet-roll'?

puthwuth said...

Em... bog-roll is bog-roll, and a toilet is never, ever the loo, and yet... it just came out as loo-roll. What are the sewage outflow gutters of East Yorkshire trying to tell me?

Background Artist said...

Well done wheatley, excellent spin, and in the spirit of Creation i find myself unable to resist rinsing it through my own lay-bore mind, in the art's hole as ow yay ow yay ooh yah play, in which highly specific soporific under-tow and lucid selkie tones lure the eye to peel back the pith of grammatically lit syntactical prepositions of clause and object arranged subjectively into one long rolling wave of play-away man posted hoary arl whorls spiralling owt...controlled response to immensley imaginative irish minds: the sidhe nor more mine than yours, ours on the other side of here and there...larkin 'bout wiv jazzers who comment for free, deposit upon the ridge and ranged topography, viewed all four cycles in one poetic seasonal vista in which all the gods rolled owt yiz wunt, lapping the over-loud lore of worreva use it wuz larh:


Hear the assassin melt ice
weaponary left only aged

droll its glacier, the point
promontory’s stone grit surf

thundering roar the sea shore
heard, grew impacting sideways,

like a the very rocks’ tooth,
and the very rocks erratic

perspective lost.

Know the new green
sea only we see can

heave churning, hatched
in across plumb cliffs

this line telling there
turn far the gannet

screaming how to dive
screaming down to a well

at the original point
of a romantic signal

station the hordes who
sit on points do not


Have the coming horde
out of the ordinance

for gravitas to fire
inscape their there out

where it is no escape,
four time boned dented

tow pallets of mice
barbarian wine gnawing


Bill, the ablative
guillemot razor

in their frozen dozens
dead end sky fallen out

propped up in the pool
eyes that trace rocking

horse cloth, their wings,
folded out and hanging

too dry; untouched breast
and their wings touch

only the flight death
takes, the stone-age

cause flowed sunken into
fiefdom hushing hips

carved through rudder
Lugh steers, the ship

follying safely onto
rock fans group-love,

fawning fans scattering
ashen faced, bright

not from a dead EFC,
missing England fuax

cant screen eye, all
but bound to all lives

rounded by waves
breaking into a green

moss surging upwards,
thrown catch nothing

broke on them until
nothing at all is broken

England’s ashes scatter
like Desmond’s words

deserved Caoimhghin bold
aul kevin beautifully

found born here.