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today and yesterday

waking unfulfilled,
I stay too long because jeremy kyle is on
and matthew wright is on and it isn’t raining,
stay here cat, stay here and dream

why do they bring their dogs to my dog?
is he a pup, no he’s old now and his muzzle white

my hair is long, my hair is short and greying,
near asda a headless pigeon,
a boy pointing out the worms inside,
my daughter watching the sparrows above

old lady stroke my dog, trainman stroke my dog,
he’s a kelpie and he’s fast and yes, he’s kind hearted

when we jolt it’s always here,
you be peter and I’ll be lilly and why is there a ball there,
I don’t have a phone, my phone is somewhere else
with pictures of my daughter with a snake on her head

running, my dog sprays rainwater up from the grass
and eats a flower like it’s a sausage

I pay for my train travel in change,
up the hill the coffeeman makes the same joke
and I smoke, I’ve been smoking since we split,
there is no red lion at the red lion anymore

sleeping, my dog is running like all dogs do in dreams,
sleeping, I am making love like all men do in dreams, not to my dog, to a woman

there is a squirrel on the road and a frog in the bird bath,
katzuma, you be a chef and I’ll be the customer,
chicken and cheese, if I had a phone I’d text the past,
my curls are for the horses, my curls discarded

my dog was locked in the kitchen with no way out,
my dog is out of the kitchen, sitting in an armchair watching jeremy kyle

when the clouds are grey they’re not ageing, they’re living
and waiting to rain, I’ll write a poem about those buzzards,
feathers of young birds on the lawn,
I never see priests in the street anymore, I never see nuns at all

dog, your god is a crisp tossed into the air
but you never pray anymore

wait here, I’ll smoke and watch you twirl your curls,
when you were born I was a different man, I’m him again,
if I had a phone I’d hide it here, it’s happened before,
the worm ouroborus, the lantern bearers, far shore calls and answers

my dog hides under the bench as a pendolino destroys silence,
I won’t fit under there

this isn’t a train, it’s an aeroplane-train,
hold on, we’re bobbing like crazy,
sometimes the sun is the river, sometimes it’s the window,
I never knew garston existed, now I’m in it

wraps himself around my bag,
his chain pulled across my daughter’s body, her laughter

thinking of a sleep of fulfilment,
the television a mirror and my body stretching
and matthew wright isn’t on and it’s raining,
I’m here cat, I’m here and I’m sleepy


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.

One response to “today and yesterday

  1. Alex Holt

    As ever very commanding, fluid and structured with quite traditional stanzas of varying lengths. Kelpy Pendolino – must look him up again. Reference to another poem I notice, about the buzzard.

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