Thursday, 22 September 2011

The Upkeep of Canaries by Andrew Spacey

No one any longer imagined us as real,
we had to imagine ourselves

Joe Wenderoth

Were we once dreaming, like men,
of curly clawed ancestors
who inhaled day, exhaled night
long before skin became song?
Now all of us
are amongst subdued musings chewed innuendo
between gobs and baccy.

The black wheel blurs, silhouettes alter shape,
a gruff choir on concrete finding themselves.
Long gone are children of wax who would melt away
in winter sun, leaving ponies, patterns in grass.

Light is a pinhead or a mirrored star they drop
us towards, like larks in steel introduced to rock.
All continuous song, deep song, transmitting finch.

Work mystifies.
Hold us up against definite warm roof space.
Wait for the planet to twitch.
Breath, breathe, brain, men, main, methane, all the voices
buried in their eyes.
Lemon yellow cravings when we turn to stone.

Fleshy Elwell of the Lamps,
(his wife had decamped
years ago)
hums electro

magnetically, speaks hendiadys in the foul air of cabined nights,
sucking coal egg shaped, the mind labyrinthine.

Is it a bit of fresh pippin? Seed time, fink sunflower, sip the dew it’s only awkward legislation.

He brews tea in a kettle that steams we delicate exiles, we’re inspired,
filigreeing apprentices and veterans alike until hessian blankets our sky.
Only the wheel and its umbilical feed this faked existence.

Wings make much of wild whilst we build music
compatible with each colour.

Andrew Spacey


Crafty Green Poet said...

Andrew says: I’m a drama teacher. I have worked as a coalminer, project worker, smallholder in the past and have written the occasional article for newspapers and magazines. I published a small book also. Some of my poems appeared on The Red Ceiling blog recently.Upkeep of Canaries is based on my own experience as a coalminer. I spent time in the lamproom feeding them for several weeks during my apprenticeship and I was always struck by their predicament. It was a duty to keep them in tiptop condition as they could be called upon at any time. Hearing them sing early mornings was always a great delight but it was tinged with blue – their longing for the clean fresh sunlit air of warmer climes contrasted sharply with the grimy conditions they had to put up with.

CMDoran said...

Only the wheel and its umbilical feed this faked, and then I read your story about the coalmines....thanks for writing.

Unknown said...

commendable poetry....
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