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I stood on Jugglers Row and watched

mast after mast topple

when there was hardly a breeze just the sense

that there should be bad weather, that it’s

been coming for a while, that mark

my words those masts will

topple and when it passed,

when calm replaced calm,

they raised black obelisks all along

the dock and I walked to Moor Street

and watched the Wirral burn, watched

the wild men set pyres and set beacons to warn

us that the pyres were burning,

and I mistook those stone birds for swans,

concrete swans coupled and apart,

and at times I took pleasure from waiting for their call,

the never came, the never came,

so the swagger of gulls

is a dance, so the greed of gannets

is good manners, and I walked

away from the city, up above it,

up to Toki’s forest

and I chased a hart, proper legged

after it down to the Dingle where I saw

masts, no not masts,

where I saw men who were slim and tall,

no not men, where I saw moorhens with brittle legs

and if they were laughing then I couldn’t hear them

but someone sang and I watched rain dampen pyres,

put out beacons, make the wings of gulls as heavy

as those shackled concrete swans

or eagles or broom suckers

and when I came home I took the bed sheets

from the bed and, maybe in confusion,

I imagined you to be a woman made of flowers

and us to be swans coupled forever

and that I was as greedy as a gannet

and that you might sing if I woke you,

that I could take myself to pleasure,

but your arms were heavy with concrete

and I drank and I drank

until an owl woke you and I was drunk


About michaeleganpoetry

Liverpool based poet and editor. I have had four pamphlets of poetry published, most recently After Stikklestad (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2010). Penned in the Margins published my first collection, Steak & Stations, in 2010.

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