Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Colin Will "Sushi and Chips"

This is a selection from my published poems.

The Red-eye

I leave this at your ear for when you wake,
the shell I picked up last week from the beach.
You said you heard the long waves curl and break,
reminding you of times now out of reach.
I slip out of the room and close the door,
leaving your house as quietly as I came.
The parcels for the kids are on the floor –
just books, no toys, CDs or X-Box games.
I’ll walk into town and catch the early bus.
My flight’s at noon, so I’ll have lots of time.
I hate goodbyes, you know I can’t stand fussed
departures, tears we’d both regret, the pantomime
of hugs and hands stretched out for one last touch
where fingers fail but lips would be too much.

From: The floorshow at the Mad Yak Café, Red Squirrel Scotland
Copyright © Colin Will, 2010

To listen to an MP3 of this poem, click here.

A short history of Xi’an

The Great Walls of Chang’an once divided
outsider from insider, barbarian from citizen.

No more. We stroll along the broad rampart
between parapets, peer down into smoggy city,

take grey photos with phones. A tall T’ang warrior
dawdles to the guardhouse, shiny breastplate

of moulded resin, helmet crowned with red nylon plumes.
In a side temple at the Great Goose Pagoda

I make three fearless bows to the Buddha. A little man
sidles in, looks both ways before kneeling.

He would have been all right, I believe, even if witnessed,
and he’s surely better for performing right actions.

Some varieties of experience must be undertaken,
not just observed. In the evening news comes

of a new feathered dinosaur from Liaoning Province,
but this is not a novelty. That is how birds became.

From: The floorshow at the Mad Yak Café, Red Squirrel Scotland
Copyright © Colin Will, 2010

Circumstantial evidence

On the backside of her denim skirt
the traces of a faint green tinge,
a many-washed echo of grass stains,
the weight of him an unregretted pressure,
the rightness of it, a sudden mutual crush,
her smiling invitation, his rugged blush.

She remembers his clothes, a spring shirt,
soft collar checks in her fingers,
the roughness of his afternoon face
against her neck - a file to freedom,
an hour snatched out of destiny
and a programmed life,
sandwiches and kisses
with a young near stranger, all
the dangers of a crowded park.

Her husband knows she wears it
in a good mood, he’s happy
that she smiles, though the reason
escapes him, something he can’t quite
put his finger on.

From Sushi & Chips, Diehard Press, 2006, available from Calder Wood Press
Copyright © Colin Will, 2006

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