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Friday, January 22, 2010

Zero at the Bone

I have written a play. That’s the title above. It features two men in the disused lighthouse on Spurn Point, and their various and violent shenanigans when a mysterious stranger turns up. Coming to a room over an East Hull pub any week now.

Hour after hour finds lined up, stern to prow,
boats from Monrovia, Gdansk or Nassau,
fabulous holds containing Lord knows what,
a UN of unknowns sailing past each night.
Try out my binoculars on the view
and someone’s training his right back on you.
I see things that are there and things that aren’t.
At me too they are looking. [Pause.] What do you want?
To think I stand here gazing at the south bank
and ask why life clings on somewhere so blank,
human life that is, life other than mine,
as if a total blank wouldn’t suit me fine.
A low tide’s worth of curlews now, or ruff,
or godwits, that’s what I call world enough,
here where earth and sea and sky collide
and the only place a man might hide’s a hide.
I never saw a bird I would not follow
if only mine were, like birds’ bones are, hollow.

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