A Teesside girl
She goes missing in the Tees
She goes missing from Teesside
A half-stem tree
faces its other half, made into a boat.
A sailing half-drunk man
pours half of his beer into the river.
A native bird, cormorant,
detaches from its flock,
flies inclining downwards, with shut eyes,
ends kissing the sailor’s forehead to bleed.
Beer bottle breaks in anger
Bird still on board, at ease
They both mutually stare
beyond the boundaries of a man and a bird.
A child goes missing
from her mother’s womb
making her cry
Father’s face turns away
as scan promised a male.
smiles with non-willing lips.
The Tees-Hospital’s river-facing window
gets knocks from the flowers and the hail;
some blessed and others thrown away
by the storm in the river.
Preston Park Riverside
A girl goes missing
from her two siblings and father
waving her hands, from the bank
to them on a ship.
Her face pretends to be happy, in staying away.
Her thoughts, sailing next to them, are waving back at her.
Could have ran to her mum at home!
But waits mum on the Park’s evening bench.
On their return, she disguises an expressionless statue
that wants to prolong their absence
to romance the bench,
never wanting to walk home!
A girlfriend goes missing
from her boy, on a Valentine’s Day
walking fast with a broken heal
turning back at him and the river.
The boy looks at the rose
that she unholds after her five steps
running the stream
away from the Infinity Bridge.
She looks at the crushed letters
that dictate and are harsh
that didn’t get thrown out of her home window
to reach the running Tees, outside.
St John the Baptist Church, Egglescliffe
A new bride goes missing
from her wedding kiss
shying away from her groom
raising the brows of the guests.
Her surname changes,
Eaglescliffe can no longer be recalled as Egglescliffe.
She, the first to walk out, after her own wedding
to throw her bouquet into the Tees.
She is a new Norman in his English soil.
She never asked for
this extra finger-burden,
first bites it, then holds tight and accepts.
High Force Falls
A lone, late-night woman
goes missing from her sleep
staring at the empty bed
with two human-like pillows, side by side.
Her repeatedly typing and deleting fingers
make the whinstone vibrate
to play a bidding game
with the lady, living near the falls.
Her man leaves the full bundle of cash
for his unfinished business.
The water that fell, levitates to the top from midway
causing the lady doubt his return to the falls.
RSPB Salthome’s Tea Party Table
A much loved wife goes missing
from holding what her talkative tongue speaks.
A finest wine in her husband’s hand
starts to taste to him like a rotten grape juice.
At Saltholme’s four-seater tea party table,
two diagonal seats are occupied
with clothes of the man and his wife
swimming in the Tees.
As wife stirs her tea cup, anti-clockwise,
notifies her unaware husband of a rumour
that the man swimming, told the valley
leaving her partner sleepless for nights.
Mouth of River Leven
An expectant women goes missing
from her motherhood.
After a long wait, her husband picks up binoculars
for a spot of bird sighting in Leven.
The bait, she throws
in the light-green coloured waters
where the Tees-swans smoothly swim
misses to fill his plate with her trout.
She sees some familiar woman
at the swampy, insect-filled mouth of Rr Leven
delivering his plate, with a toad-like fish with whiskers
like him. She wishes blood of Leven never meets Tees.