Saturday, February 14, 2015

Andrew Darlington





too old, too sick, too tired for poems

done with poems, until returning here,

where we were the bright and burning wind

bled and howling through Hebden Bridge

in spliced silver apocalypse frame after frame

with machine whirr and click whirr and click,

and now they start up again, can’t staunch

these ghosts caught and stuck in flickering

projector images/ ...when we matched breath,

exhaling into frosty-crystalline sunset over

hacked and gouged ripple-skied motorway/

by the underpass/flyover chrome-grille

concrete monolith of spiral M62 crawl

stooped and crawling, screaming ‘BASTARD

at anonymous steel projectiles, our laughter

lost and rolling in shattered syllables all along

the verge/ ...and did we lie inert and not move

and breathe again as if it were our first breath

and at the same time our last breath, recalling

a bright and burning wind over Hebden Bridge

and ripple-skied motorway monolith of stoop

and crawl, and smile and think ‘this is good’,

I don’t ask for my head to be stuffed

with these burning visions, but they’re here,

is a sleeping madman still crazy…?

too old, too sick, too tired for poems

trying to turn your mind to other things,

and these ghosts return…



Check out my website ‘EIGHT MILES HIGHER’ – ‘The Blogspot for People Who Don’t Like Blogspots’ – latest postings include ‘Music From Sheffield: The Box’ interviews/history, Kurt Vonnegut 1983 interview, full Bill Nelson interview-live/album review-discog retrospective with rare archive art, ‘The Lost Worlds Of Arthur Conan Doyle: His SF, Fantasy & Horror’, Neil Sedaka Live, Elvis: My Visit To Graceland & Sun Studios with photos, ‘Rogue Moon’ by Algis Budrys – history & analysis, Cassandra Complex 1988 interview, and moremonthly updates at



Adam Ward

The Piano


It’s as if my fingers had forgotten the piano,

or maybe my eyes drifted from the keys

to the ivory of her smile once too often.

Maybe the beer had slowed my knuckles,

and the turquoise sponge of her eyes

drifted to my hands to watch me play,

but the nerves rose through my chest

and gave up music, or hope perhaps.


As I played for the hollow home

somewhere beyond the rolling cloth

the creased quilt, dotted with sheep

bleating new accents in every field

she sat quietly, tongue small and thick

resting on a scarlet glistening pillow.

Her eyes stroked between my face,

my hands, and back and back.


But I shook the notes away,

each cadence a memory discarded,

an inhibition lost, an epitaph.

Every bar was a coda waiting.

Each coda could not begin a new refrain

for there was no melody for here and now

without a scale of guilt.  And those chords

would only accompany me to the gallows.


Yes the songs would end

the hammer ceased beating the strings

and her hands brushed mine

like a cotton bow upon airy skin.

Begin again her mouth would urge

and whipping hair of flame just once

to rest upon the lagoon she’d draped

around her hidden curves.


As the bitter night closed the light

and my hands caught the wind

reaching for hers, subtly.

She shrunk back into whispering black,

her elven feet carrying her home.

Back up the hill I’d drag my shoes

through gravel, gate, and upstairs
to play piano perfectly alone

A Rutlanders Yarn


In some wez shis wiser na.

Sh’c’n tell th’Jewsh, Christians,

th’Indoos oo’s right’ an’

seddle th’score on those what lied.


Tho still an’ dumb, th’eyes a closed

wi’sheckin’ thumbs, c’n see wha’ man

‘as killed ‘is brother uva, fer centries

in livin’ breathin’ blin’ness.


Jus’ las’ week shwas ‘ottin’ soup

an’ serm’nisin’ ‘rithmetic and revlations

to yunguns oo’d not utter a word

whils’ Mam’d wield th’ladel


Mu’ely, an’ withou’ force she

gev um each day their delly bread

an’leddem no’ inta temptation.

We mathed’er words to full bolls.


When Dad cemmum frum wuck

th’dug, cherishin’ ‘is face wi’

baptisms a slick slobber

shwud thank th’Lord furriz return.


 Shid sen’ God wee us, dan th’jitty,

up each tree wid climb, uva each stile,

an’ anywur ‘cross th’Wellan’ Valley

wid yomp wi’spirit accussom t’ yunguns.


An’ one day sh’open’d twa man,

seein’ only a bet’n gosp’l in wunand,

not th’knife ‘e ‘ung cashwul-like

‘aside ‘is fawny jacke’ an’ nea’ trousers.


Goodwill twall men, sh’ad ‘im in

sheckin’ wee a fruzzen gale.  Hid accep’

th’good char, of a good woman, wee th’

good book on ‘er oak tebbel


Frit tho’ shid be, a’th’ final plunge

a’d no’ won’er tha’ a final preh would

‘scap ‘er lips, ta God ‘oo fersucker

a’tha’ mumment, in ‘er dires’ of need.


Na cotched in slumber, in wood an’ chapel,

‘ands ‘cross her motionless ‘eart she knows

an’ sees th’frui’ ova life whisper’d on knees.

Bu’ sh’speaks not til’th veil’s drawn
Adam Ward can be found on social media in the following places. Twitter - @WardyBoy82
FB Page - I last found him in North Gate bus station in Northampton, where I twisted his arm to give these poems to Beatnik. I think they're extremely good, for whatever my opinion's worth ~ Bruce.