Thursday, 4 September 2014

Trash poetry

It is a writing exercise kind of day.

Went to the site of the old GPO depot and before that old railway sidings close to Easter Road to hang out a bit. Sometimes it looks like a beach with juvenile gulls roosting up on shingle gravel and rockpool puddles but at the moment it is very dry.

For some reason this space cheers me - it reminds me of student days working in the GPO at Christmas sorting parcels and forgetting to cancel the stamps so that old ladies like my mother could steam them off and reuse them - and there is the remains of a seating area with cypress and bulbs. Half hour breaks piling out to the pub to drink as much Guinness as possible. Friendships started and ended.

A place of possibility - today it is also clearly used as an inventive mountain bike track.

Writing exercise: find an empty place with rubbish blowing - ignored by passers-by and populate it. Claim the space...just the thing for when your muse playing silly b*****s.

Brunswick Road beach
For the old sorting office

A boat is moored here today.
Lumbering on dry dock trestles
a maze of re-used wood lascared
by fledged gulls in the gravel spoil
preening rain puddles. Half-hearted bike track.
Goods trucks chuckle down
out of sight; spray paint aliens.

We worked here once and got paid, deliveries came in and out, goods piled and stacked, the reek of Christmas, sellotape and packing paper, postcodes, the impossible sorting machine. It was a world in itself.

The sea itself is contradictory. No salt.
No front. No children
Keep out city council spike-topped railings.
Someone once planted fir trees, put that picnic table in,
people sun and fags
when the GPO was here and holidays.
I walk past each day to get a sandwich.

In love with you those nights at the gantry, half an hour break to swallow as many pints as we could and I never said, that elusive feeling welled and ebbed, left the bar to the parcel frames and banter.

Sometimes when the drizzle falls
and the light comes awkward, bright,
and the gulls drive off the piles
left after beachcombed copper wires
I can see you. Through the cheap parking,
the tide comes in again, the wishing wind

drifting me back to streetside pine.

© Bridget Khursheed

Other poems about trash available here

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