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.

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Scrutiny

Today they came
to measure everything
to make sure it was long
or short enough.
They wear light 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

Five Short Poems

 

I wrote a haiku this morning, while sitting in the garden next to the rhubarb. It then occurred to me to gather together the last few haiku I’ve written into one place. Here.

Shandy Hall -mentioned in an earlier post- was the home of the writer Laurence Sterne.

The ones about birds I wrote almost exactly two years ago. Without realising it -I was just cycling past- I had almost the same thought about curlews in exactly the same place a couple of days ago on August 12th, the date I originally posted it in 2014.

 

Rhubarb Leaves

rivers running down
from curly mountaintops through
shiny green valleys

 

Shandy Hall

imaginary
footprints through the grass leading
to the next chapter

 

Three Bird Haiku

1

A constellation:
seven starlings flying in
the shape of the Plough.

2

A heron standing
very still by the river.
Is it a model?

3

The days get shorter.
You feel a chill in the air:
the curlew is gone.

 

Copyright (c) Sackerson, 2016