Roy Marshall – Beyond North

Beyond North

 

I’d go there too, if all I’d known
was warped or riven,
to a place of un-diluted light
where the wind comes naked
after its flight over the sea.
I could work, building hatches
to batten, break firewood open
on the blade of an axe, slap up
gull-splattered stone
in a new coat of white.
I’d throw grain for the all-important chickens,
majestic in their suits of henna and rust,
their feet lifted high and placed
so carefully, as if the grass
might hurt. I understand that
the language of rain is common,
and that snow is often spoken,
particularly at night. I’d like to wake
to the silence of still waves,
white horses hitched and rock tethered
under a sky of ice.

 

Roy Marshall lives in Leicestershire where he works in adult education. He has been variously employed
as a gardener, electronics buyer, delivery driver and coronary care nurse. His pamphlet ‘Gopagilla’ was published in 2012 and a full collection, ‘The Sun Bathers’ is available from Shoestring Press. Roy blogs at http://roymarshall.wordpress.com/.

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Roy Marshall – Made in Dagenham

 

Made In Dagenham

A manager, who’d arrived fresh-faced in ’64,
recalled the endless drive from gate to office,
a daunting walk across the floor

through air thick with metal slough
and the beat of machines. Ex-workers spoke
of crushing boredom, toilet trips timed by foremen,

line speeds increased until hands were a blur.
A steward from the foundry where engine blocks
were forged, told of the finger lopped

and taken by a cat, and a woman described a hat
worn in honour of a visit by the second Henry Ford.
Skilled machinists, paid as unskilled, sat at their benches

and roared, as Ada greeted him, Bollocks
stitched clearly above the brim.

 

 

 

Roy Marshall lives in Leicestershire where he works in adult education. He has been variously employed
as a gardener, electronics buyer, delivery driver and coronary care nurse. His pamphlet ‘Gopagilla’ was published in 2012 and a full collection, ‘The Sun Bathers’ is available from Shoestring Press. Roy blogs at http://roymarshall.wordpress.com/.