Poetry

Demarcations

1. The Violinist in Spring

It is not the blue notes, but the blue touch paper.
It is not the short fuse, but the long memory.
It is not the small bunch of forget-me-nots, but the bed of red hot pokers.
It is not the brand recognition, but the subconscious associations.
It is not the warm feelings, but the doubtful sounds.
It is not the diminished seventh, but the opening chord to ‘Hard Day’s Night’.
It is not what it has been, but what it will become.
It is not the leap of faith, but the wired landing.
It is not the abandoned airstrip, but the opencast mine.
It is not the tailings, but the percentages.
It is not the dance in the figures, but the figures in the dance. 
It is not the twist, but the sacrificial rites.
It is not the heart in the mouth, but the fork in the tongue.
It is not between the lines, but between you and me.

 
2. Summer Near the Arctic Circle

It is not the distance between us, but the lack of distance between us.
It is not the bonds, but the restraints.
It is not the cucumber sandwiches, but the people passing round the
cucumber sandwiches.
It is not the cut of the jib, but the angle of entry.
It is not the long division, but the brief comings together.
It is not the bare buttocks, but the bared buttocks.
It is not the offensive line, but the defensive line.
It is not the trench system, but the high water table.
It is not the insufficient fall, but the blocking high.
It is not the big picture, but the tiny ruins.
It is not the clues, but the puzzle.
It is not the correct answer, but the pencilled working.
It is not the sound reasoning, but the quiet mystery.
It is not the man in the moon, but the woman in the well.


3. Autumn Testament

It is not the farther to go, but the father to be.
It is not the longing, but the belonging.
It is not the clasp on the purse, but the purse on the lips.
It is not above suspicion, but under the pump.
It is not the unsettled stomach, but the unsettled mind.
It is not the need for god, but the desire for god.
It is not evidence of a divine creator, but evidence against a divine creator.
It is not the Gaza Strip, but Gazza whipping his shirt off.
It is not talking with your feet, but footing it with your mouth.
It is not the parting shot, but the passing shot.
It is not the power, but the spin.
It is not the slant, but the enchantment.
It is not the whale in the room, but the pea in the pod.
It is not under the mattress, but staring you in the face.

 
4. Mrs Winter’s Jump

It is not the words that chill us, but the silence.
It is not the silence gathering on the rooftop, but the snow.
It is not the snow falling outside, but the snow falling inside.
It is not the deepening drifts, but the lengthening drifts.
It is not eternity, but the tight deadline.
It is not the lack of time, but the lack of humour.
It is not the obvious punchline, but the unforeseen impact.
It is not the sock in the eye, but the sock in the mouth.
It is not the cheap gag, but the cost of free speech.
It is not the failure of the imagination, but the imaginative posturing.
It is not the stroking of the chin, but the stroking of the ego.
It is not the slapped back, but the turned back.
It is not the personal preference, but the casual indifference.
It is not not caring, it is caring too much.

 

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