Down Dag’s Lane
This morning, down the snicket
by your house at the terminus
of our conversation, more
invigorated than in years,
buoyed by your willingness
to broach the difficult,
my tongue, the small frictions
of a leaf, grubbed between
my thumb and forefinger,
a burring; ridge after soft
green ridge serrating
to an horizon. I lick
my finger, taste the green
fact that mountains
can seem both for
and against us.
The sun in the blind
like a bird in a cat’s mouth:
I collect myself, recover phone,
glasses, wallet, from under a sofa,
quietly then, to your kitchen in search of coffee.
Your nightdress eddies round the door, a milk-space
between your pale shoulder straps, the spine and scapula.
As you stretch for a mug, your shoulder blade is water
over a raised boulder. I gaze, a second too long,
at this space at your back, unreachable, I imagine,
even by you.
Ode to a Departure Lounge
The all-over body rub of Sky News
wrapped round with ads, to fly
Emirates or Air France; the soft plea
of decorous women in flat hats,
pale faces and white scarves,
medieval queens from art galleries.
In-flight delectables tendered
to 38C, 61F, the well-to-do seats
of velveteen and anti-macassar.
A childish optimism of bright brands
entices, as I walk to the dream
of an aeroplane. Unguents, liquids,
to fill the pores and scatter the brain,
a double-act of Molton Brown and Bombay
Sapphire, the Testers and Tasters
of duty-free, an arrowed path to a glass heaven.
Bedded and gowned, bring me here to die
in the public flux, under steel-girder plangencies
of Abba and Vivaldi, a womb-comfort
of flight-announcements, breaking news
like surf in an oriental watercolour, caught
at a cusp of revelation; red banners, 24/7,
follow the widescreen, pendants in a victory joust.
Ken Evans works as a lead-mine guide to what is laughably called, ‘support’ this poetry habit.
When not kept in the dark underground, Ken’s work was longlisted in the UK Poetry Society’s National Competition, and highly-commended in the Bridport and shortlisted in the Troubadour Competition, all this year. He has a pamphlet due out with Eyewear in the autumn.
His draft debut collection was also shortlisted in both the Bare Fiction Debut Poetry Collection Competition and in the Poetry School/Nine Arches ‘Primers’ Scheme this autumn.