Current Scribble

(or not quite so current)

I'm not sure about posting "current scribbles". Here's my birthday poem, originally given to a photograper, Jemimah Kuhfeld, about six years ago, for a book of photographs of poets. Later ir was offered to Sarah Corbett for an exhibition at Hebden Bridge Railway Station. I didn't chance to see the exhibition, but the last time I was at the station, this poem was still there, on a noticeboard. I believe Peter Riley may have posted a photo of it on Facebook. But I don't have ought to do with Facebook.


Snow fell from Heaven while Aneurin Bevan
thought to spawn the NHS. Mother had drunk
her Guinness bottles on prescription nonetheless.
    Snow fell cold and soft on fold and croft.
Snow fell on Halliwell. Snow drifted into windrow
and an even swell. Snow overwhelmed the mill,
the mine, the railwayline. The world was frozen
in a shell of economic standstill. Snow blown over
Smithills Moor and Winter Hill had heaped against
the hospital, up to the window-sill.
    Such beauty thrills that still receptacle,
the unborn soul, a perfect hole. Snow fills
(rare word this for Northern England) Shaly Dingle:
Curl and cornice, turquoise light in ice crevasse.
Each being singularly single and subject
to chimes and tingle, such epiphanies as this'll
once or twice perhaps have come to pass.
    Snowfall bridges ridge and gable. Snow drifts up
by Hollin Wood. Sub-zero air, a few lights twinkle, but
the power cuts at night. The gate-stoup wind-side ice
withstood. Snow fell on Havercroft and Heaton: White.
    Blue, limply furled, cord-strangled, almost lifeless
as the nurses thump and batter, I was beaten
into breath: At last, some minutes old, I do protest
about my own ejection into this cold world. I'm told
it was a matter, simply, of my life or death.


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