EVERYTHING CRYING, EVERYTHING SAD
At the back door with a cigarette and old climbing frames,
old moss-covered petrol pumps in the head.
The party inside cannot be got at.
Night has a way of skinning its animals.
Each memory could be a pair of strong arms
pulling water up from the well.
A fire once burned so brightly
each corner of the room was illuminated,
precious kindling fed in.
The back room had many mysteries.
In farm sheds, with shafts of splintered light,
hay bales were strongholds for little people.
In hallowed fields, horses ran over the heart’s
Harvest came. Trailers would spill their grain.
And the old house is nothing but eggs,
windows shut with a quiet hand.
Wee dead birdies stuck in the air space.
Waves have been scattering the stones.
Truthfully, the ocean is a bad dream
waking up against the shore again and again.
What a world.
Where did the striped deck chairs go?
The paddling pool? Smoke-grey tractor?
The greenhouse ripe with tomatoes?
It all becomes ritual, an offering to the ancients
Looking up at Orion’s belt,
the tailless cat brought home in a puffy jacket,
something is perfectly out of reach.
At the back door, with the cigarette down there,
moss-covered pumps and a party inside
that cannot be got at.
David Linklater is a poet from Balintore, Easter Ross. His poems have appeared in Gutter, Glasgow Review of Books, IS&T and Abridged, amongst others. His pamphlet ‘Black Box’was published with Speculative Books in 2018. He lives and writes in Glasgow. Twitter: @DavidRossLinkla