Threads, by Mark Connors


I am not a silent poet


We live in the age of pulling threads,
open colossal cans of worms
which once kept bigotry contained.
We cannot help but hear them spill:
the plop, the seethe and the wriggling
to uncomfortable truths;
we have moved forwards but stepped back.
Our leaders pull threads and get votes,
legitimise bad behaviours
in our pubs, on radio
in the places where we go to work,
on a scale not known for decades.
They split countries 50/50
in ways which once caused civil wars.


There was a film that shocked us, once,
about a nuclear winter
in Sheffield, of all places.
As realistic as it was,
the three-minute generation
were protected by a comfort:
mutually assured destruction,
as cold as a comfort can be
but a comforting deterrent
which is no longer evident
in these days of no trust. Seldom
have we seen such oscillation:
one day leaders threat…

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My Imaginary Flying Machine

Had to read and reread again, the richness of imagery is wonderful…a New Years day treat

...made out of words

My imaginary flying machine
lifts me just high enough
to clear the garden fence
and carries me silently
through the darkness.
I control by telepathy
the invisible engine:
I tell it to follow
the line of the streetlights
along the empty streets
that lead out of town.
Once over the fields
I steer by the stars
until I hear but can’t see
the water flowing over the stones
in the dark chasm
of the stream-bed.

This I follow,
plunging with the waterfall,
leveling out
as the stream joins the river,
startling an owl
from its tree on the river-bank.

Sweeping under the arch
of a bridge, where all is invisible
and where the water
echoes for  moment, I emerge:
and here the river widens, merges
into the dark mass
of the sea and I turn
up into the sky,
banking to follow
the curve of Draco’s tail
as it weaves…

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My Favourite Hole in the Ground

...made out of words

My favourite hole in the ground
is on top of Harkerside Fell.
It’s not very big but
you can lie down in it, just,
so you’re out of the wind.
If you look over the edge
you can see for miles
only don’t get too comfortable
or one of the straggly nettles
that live there
(vicious bastards that they are)
will bite you on the arse,
even through your trousers –

so take care.

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