The Larne Line
Like a big boned heifer,
early in the year, let out from
shed and crush upon new grass,
or like the village skateboarder,
by war memorial or grotto steps,
with ramps and wriggles in the air -
kicks and landings and careless
jumps again - so this bright-windowed
carriage disports itself - buck leps,
judders, jinks and dances,
lunges, waltzes, bunny hops;
goes forward by the grace of God.
And by lesser graces: whoever
wedged the rails and left them slack,
allowed the bogies wiggle room;
measured handspans and by nose to fingertips,
good agricultural Ulster tolerances
through this ancient rolling-stock.
Which flirts first with rushy flooded
field. Next; tilts at lough-flat herons,
curlews, thin-billed wading birds. Then
skates past grey quarry spoil and
swan-filled ponds at Magheramorne. I suck my lip
and welcome friendly Glynn. Brisk slap-beat rhythm
comes to coax us by empty coalyard pens, the Corran's
sweep. To draw and push us on the straight and level
into Port of Larne's docks' terminus. As we wait, count breaths,
a still life settles out of low sun in the yard. Churn staves -
six longtailed shovels struck in sand. A spill of shadows -
buttermilk. Light - clotted heaps of yellow grains.
The Kitchen Swarm
There is a sense in which
no fly is individual.
This kitchen swarm is danse
macabre; an attitude, a soul.
In my vigour, I swatted
one, already dead
and sticky on the wall,
left a swatch of knuckle blood,
sprayed a net to catch
those rising from the floor,
and went to bed.
This morning - a striplit abattoir.
Empty bodies, gristle,
a skin-tone Band-aid patch.
And a new day,
a new soul, dancing at the door.
© Peter Waring
Loch Raven Review Fall 2005 Vol. I, No. 1
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