Two poems to mark National Poetry Day UK 2017.
Peter Adair: Seven Lives
You have survived seven crashes on seven motorbikes,
ascended seven times to the ceiling
and pitied seven dying bodies beneath you.
You have astonished seven consultants who dislike being astonished,
spoken with seven angels who tried to coax you home,
preserved seven grafts of skin like relics
and, this morning, blessed seven roses with holy water
and forced out seven words that I understand:
motorbike, bungalow, mother, garden, flowers, trees, Philip.
(from All the Barbaric Glass, Doire Press)
The tide has thrown up a dogfish,
sandpaper-rough and dense as muscle;
a tough trial to the iridescent flies.
Outside the deaf-mute element
a parched wind filled with bird-shrieks
has begun a slow embalming.
Already it is eyeless. Small wonder
the child with bucket stands and stares
and starts to hear the song of sand;
the whisper in the hourglass.