Poldy’s Dog

I am looking for that. Yes, that. Try all pockets. Handker. Freeman. Where did I? Ah, yes. Trousers. Potato. Purse. Where?
Hurry. Walk quietly. Moment more. My heart.
His hand looking for the where did I put found in his hip pocket soap lotion have to call tepid paper stuck. Ah soap there I yes.

Leopold Bloom, in Ulysses by James Joyce

 

Imagine if Leopold
and Molly Bloom
as well as a cat
had a dog
that had once bit Blazes Boylan
on the arse
(in other words,
a dog with taste)
so that on June the sixteenth
Poldy had had to take it with him
on his travels.

Okay, it’s an anachronism
but you can just see him
stooping with a certain
methodical poise
to scoop its faeces
up off the pavement
discreetly enclosing them
in one of those bags
(just like the man
on the deli counter
wrapping up a lump
of faux exotic cheese)
feeling the warmth
and softness of it
while his inner encyclopedia
riffs on the body temperature
of dogs and on the toxicity
of dog shit
as he slips it
into his pocket
to rub against
the bar of soap
or perhaps the potato
as he walks.

 

Copyright (c) Sackerson, 2018

 

 

 

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My Imaginary Flying Machine

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 a 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 between the Bears.

 

Draco_and_Ursa_Minor

Draco and Ursa Minor from Urania’s Mirror, a set of constellation cards by Sidney Hall, published in London c.1825

 

Poem copyright (c) Sackerson, 2018

The image is in the public domain.

Scrutiny

Today they came
to measure everything
to make sure it was long
or short enough.
They wear cheap suits,
they smile a lot and say
they’re here to help us. Then
they consult their laptops
and tell us everything
appears to be within
acceptable limits although
we might consider shaving off
a centimetre here
and there. They say
the same thing every year.
I wouldn’t mind so much
only no-one seems to care
what (in each case) lies
between the beginning
and the end.

 

Copyright (c) Sackerson, 2017

 

 

The Big Picture

When we reach the end
there’ll be no credits rolling
as the music of the spheres
plays out: no-one to perform
the autopsy. Without
a body, so they say,
there can be no murder.

It will be as if
we never were. Time passes:
cause and effect set
the record straight, conceal
the evidence. Probes
from deep space find
nothing definite,
ascribe a name or number
and move on.

 

Copyright (c) Sackerson, 2017

 

 

Freeloader

I’ve never seen it
but the tree is so big
that for two whole weeks
each autumn everyone
within a one-mile radius
munches pink ladies.
Someone always brings me
a bag-full and every year
I say thank you and think
they taste so good
I must go and find it
for myself but I never do.

 

Copyright (c) Sackerson, 2017

Traveling North

I do not buy into
the drumbeat soundtrack
that seeks to make sense
of the night as I sit
drinking black coffee
trying to stay awake
(I’ve a long way to go).
There are no dancers here
just tired bodies
strapped into the machine:
you’ll see for yourself
if you step outside
into the dark and if you
look in through the window
you’ll see a man
sat at the table there
watching the lights move
on the motorway
and trying to write it all down
before it’s too late

 

Copyright (c) Sackerson, 2017

 

 

My Favourite Hole in the Ground

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.

Copyright (c) Sackerson, 2017