All copyright © 2003 remains with the authors.
All copyright © 2004 remains with the authors.



Snapshots
Gerald England






overnight sprinkle of snow on shed roof
gone by seven-thirty
a flurry of flakes by eight
gives way to rain to sun to snow to rain to sun to snow to rain
the afternoon market is busy
cold shoppers shuffle into the warm mall
for tea and a toasted teacake
outside the stall-holders pack up early

Gerald England
Hyde, Cheshire, UK

***


A SNAIL BOUNCES

so here i am
mid-morning
lounging on the lazyboy
i've been up for hours
had a shower
done bacon and eggs
checked my email
cleared the spam
picked the pinta
off the doorstep
as i greeted the postman
brought the laundry down
set the washing-machine
so now i settle down
to listen to the video-recording
of last week's
just a minute
on freeview digital radio
the phone rings
and it isn't a distant call centre
selling a new mortgage
telling of a holiday
i've won in a competition
i never entered
or of how my postcode
has come up on their computer
i can be a show-house
but this time
it is the secretary of a society
of which I'm a life member
he wants to know
if i am still me
have i still
got a life
seems the last issue
of the societies transactions
was returned
marked gone away
but i haven't
i'm still here
time for a fresh pot of tea

Gerald England
Gee Cross, Hyde, Cheshire, UK
Wednesday 17th March, 2004; 10.30 am

***


MAST

stark
sharp
sentinal
standing
on top of Winter Hill
illumined by the light
of the early morning sun
seen from my bedroom window
thirty miles away
for the first time
in twelve months
since the council
felled the trees
that blocked the view

one hour on --
the moor's outline
fades into the clouds

Gerald England
Hyde UK, Wed 24th March 2004 6-7 am.

***


orange-tipped half-disc
peeps above thick mist
last sunset in March

Gerald England
Hyde, UK
31/3/04
7.30pm

***

SPRINGCLEANING

upstairs and downstairs
four hours in all
spraying
dusting
vaccing
polishing
dehoming spiders
sweeping out dead ants
from behind the tumble-dryer
unearthing an odd sock
two pieces of jigsaw
and an old toy car
tipping a vase of flowers
over the television
moving chairs
to find unfaded bits of carpet

after they've gone
we rearrange disturbed ornaments
search for the hand-painted ashtray
that was under the vase
they knocked over
empty the dishwasher
and microwave a late lunch

Gerald England,
Hyde, UK
Wed. 7th April 2004

***


the wheelie-bin sits on the pavement
waiting all day for the bin-men who do not come

i carry the phone around in my shirt pocket
waiting all day for my calls to be returned

the postman does not come till nearly one

like an umbrella
the willow tree hangs low
over wilting daffodils

grey day turns to grey evening

Gerald England
Hyde, UK
8pm Wednesday 14th April 2004

***


AN ORDINARY DAY

I open the lounge curtains
to find a blotch on the window
it has arrived in the night.
Later in the morning
it is still there.
I use a discarded note to the milkman
to lever away the tiny snail
depositing it in the bobbing hydrangea.

As I fill the kettle
my eyes meet those
of the grey squirrel
on the little fence
a yard beyond the kitchen window.
It looks away and scurries quickly
down my neighbour's garden path.

In the back garden beyond ours
a fat tabby prowls
as a wood pigeon settles on the roof.

After the rain
I watch a blackbird
digging worms
out of the recently mown lawn.
It eyes me too
but is in no hurry
to wander under the willow tree
and into the hedge bottom.

In the bathroom today
the spider
is nowhere to be seen.

Gerald England
Hyde, UK, Wednesday 21st April 2004.

***


the hours from dawn to dusk

7 dreaming of a missed bus in Austria
8 the smell of bacon
9 150 pieces of inedible spam
10 scraping out old grease from the grill pan
11 fetching the wheelie-bin in
12 turkey and apple muffins
1 asleep in front of the tele
2 emptying the dishwasher
3 surfing for holiday trains
4 watching snooker
5 a pizza in the microwave
6 playing backgammon on the computer
7 sliced banana and ice-cream
8 writing emails
9 listening to a jazz CD
10 the moon and venus unseen behind clouds
11 end of another day

Gerald England
Hyde
28th April 2004

***

THE MARKET

only the shell
of the building
remains
the most-loved market for miles around
reduced to ashes
a hundred traders
now with nothing
Total Games
Wendy & Mandys Cafe
Dels Suits
Traditional Sausage Co.
Scottish Meats
Seaking Fisheries
W Briggs Butchers
Alf Pearson Family butcher
David Conn Traditional butcher
Rothwells Furniture
Market Newsagent
A & B Sportswear
Bennetts Fancy goods
Eileen's Egg Nest
The Phone Corner
C D S Textiles
Phil's Antiquarian Books
Bailey's Hardware
Hats & Things
Rudies Snack Bar
Cherubs Specialist Christening wear
Victoria's Lingerie
Stall On The Wall Ladies & Gents Outdoor Wear
Grahame & Gordon Haberdashery
Celebrations Cards & Novelties
Pick Of The Crop
Alwyn's Underwear Stall
Goody Two Shoes
B & G Fashions
Chris's Vac & Washer Service
M.C.S Uniforms
The Toffee Box
The Music Corner
Curtain Corner
The Traditional Food Stall
Pick Of The Crop
Junior's Childrens wear
S.Williams & Sons Cafe
Elaine's Jewellers
The Off License
Body Bitz
Shades DIY
Walker's Greengrocers
Hussein's Sportswear
Brooks Hosiery & Swimwear
S Williams & Son Home Cooked Meats
Cards Galore
J.R Fashions
Mobile Revolution
Linda's Cosmetics & Perfume
Bradbury's Gloves, Scarves, Handbags & Umbrellas
Renwick's Bakery & Handcarved Meats
A & Y Brierley Footwear
Naeem's Ladies Fashion
Longdens Toys
Brian's Quality Furnishings
Brooks Underwear
Gifts For All Occasions
Phones 4 Us
A+A Videos
Cafe Nadin
J & L Bargains
The Sports Box
Spec Tackle
Paws and Claws
Camina Bags
Ashton Hall Carpets
Craven's Shoe Repairs
Morgan's China
The Bedding Box
Bailey Health Products
Joe & Sons Jeweller & Watch Repairs
Bailey's Hardware & Electrical
Bobby Fashions
Barry Gleave Biscuits, Sweets & Cakes
Cassons shoes
Redmonds Butcher & Delicatessen
B O'Donoghue Butcher
G. Fish Specialist Cooked Meats & pies
J. McClean Biscuits & Cakes
Here's Health Herbal Remedies
Hallworth's Cheese & Dairy Produce
K McDermott Danish Bacon Specialists
The Pantry
Chicken Barbecue
The Hen House
Shopmobility Wheelchairs & Scooters
none of it left
no sprinklers
no insurance
no recompense
no one died
so only rates
a brief mention
on the local
not national news

Gerald England
Tameside, Greater Manchester

***



Poetryetc is a listserv relating to poetry and poetics which provides a forum for poets to debate their critical and creative work. The list has over the years run a number of projects for its members, of which Snapshots has been the most enduring.

Every Wednesday, Poetryetc members were invited to post short poems on any subject or in any form they chose. The idea was to make a poetic collage of instamatic “snaps” of that day that reflected the international membership of the list. The project has generated an astounding number of poems.

The first two runs, of six weeks each, and the first ten weeks of the third run, are archived at Wild Honey Press www.wildhoneypress.com under Poetryetc Project. The rest - amounting in all to a run of a year - are archived here.

Poetryetc, like its affiliate Salt Publishing (http://www.saltpublishing.com), was founded by Australian poet John Kinsella. Salt is managed by Christopher Hamilton-Emery (cemery@saltpublishing.com), while Poetryetc is owned by Alison Croggon (ajcroggon@bigpond.com). Poetryetc is now archived at http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/poetryetc.html. and anyone interested can join from that url.

To contact the listowner: Alison Croggon


These pages are designed, maintained, and hosted by Rebecca Seiferle, the Editor of The Drunken Boat. To email.


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