commissioned poems by michael lay
life without words
2012  the stour gallery


Arriving Home at Night

Blinking awake under headlights then invisible asleep with a sigh.
Tucked into far western valleys, shrouded in wet mist. I am close,
the radio turns to white noise. Shipping forecast lost to a Cornish winter.

Tomorrow, if the fog has cleared, I will see them, old buildings
at the end, losing life as if they were prey caught in a granite web.
Tiny windows squinting through wind, striving to remain.


Still Life

Waiting colour in bowls and vases
lilies still in bud, fruit firm and green.

Briefly they flourish. Dashes of stamen-yellow
spread over petals of white and mauve

plums sinking to bottomless purple
oranges finding themselves waxy and bright.

Aromas wait by the door, a cocktail of spring
but no matter how much you change the water,

they won’t keep. The flowers fall down a spectrum
of pastels, rich tones trickling to air, replaced by the shadow

of colour. Fruit flies appear in the kitchen. Nothing to do
but buy in fresh, or try to remember it all before

and paint a picture.


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