Early day: air like a raw, shot-blue wool
Scratches my face to plaster. Water cracks
Like plastic from a pipe; the pavement frost
Splinters. At the bread factory men pull
Shattering trolleys out to the van’s racks –
Where someone crackles past, brown as a ghost.
The housing estate is Leggo, its stagesAlready lit and acted on. The sky
Swills like an inverted explosion, shuts
Down on the Ring Road where a Greenline pages
Custom; the whistling tunnel batters the eye.
From the harbour Behemoth humps his guts.
They’re building at the station. In the cageMen crawl like snub-nosed worms, night-lights smoulder,
Festering in the belly. Not much to say,
Waiting to be shunted; someone flicks a page,
Someone spits, faces scoured and grey; it’s colder;
A shivering lad has clocked his thousandth day.
====================© circa 1973-76