Saturday, 30 March 2013


I sat down to write recently and this rather strange poem was born.


Scrottle necked and thick whiskered he lent me an ear,
his thick salmon lobes sweating with hair and gristle.
It wasn’t clear if he was listening, his raspy breathing 
shaking the windows in their casements.  My secrets

were to remain buried deep in his auricular channels,
lodged in silt, creaky vessels on estuarine shelves.
At times, his great head lolled on his shoulders,
and his rheumy eyes rested a little too long on mine,

and I feared my mumbled words may sprow out,
thickened and darkened with their immersion.
But his eyes would soon move on to the next drink,
his belly rising up and down like the tide.

I watched him daily at the bar, his skin thickened,
reddened and glowering with the heat of the day.
The sun had ploughed deep crevices into his neck, 
through which his briny sweat ran, tempering the edges

of his work shirts.  More animal than man, 
he growled and grimaced before feeding, 
bending over to bite at his meat and spoon in
careless mouthfuls.  After watching him daily

during a wet monsoon season,
I finally left town on a long distance bus,
departing with little ceremony, the heat of the day
making us sluggish and ill tempered.

He promised not to tell the thing that I should 
never have shared, though it was probably lost
anyway, my words neither tethered nor treasured,
declarations of love lost in the water, in deep flooded creeks.  


Jade said...

Hi Mark, I really enjoyed reading your poem. The character you've described here is captivating.

Anything in particular inspire this one? Sometimes poems seem to come out of nowhere, and that is a pleasant surprise.

Mark Sargeant said...

Hi Jade, thanks for the feedback on the poem. I just wanted to play around with language and words to begin with, then this character emerged. He was inspired by a character in the Danish TV series, Forbrydelsen - Theis Birk Larsen played by Bjarne Henriksen. He has such a physical presence in the show, and his brooding, menacing intensity steals a lot of his scenes. Anyway I was kind of thinking of him at times when I wrote this.
Thanks for visiting :)

Jade said...

Hi again, Mark. I wanted to mention that the "Blush of Dawn" blog you have on your link list was a site I once owned but don't anymore. It seems it's turned into a digital camera site. My current Blush of Dawn site is :)