8 Days Remaining
Mark Granier

Thursday 11th
posted by Jody Porter in Arts

Well Versed is edited by JODY PORTER

Travellers on Pigeon House Road

Some years now, since they were moved on
by a long acre of boulders set down
magisterially as glacial erratics.

Driving the bay side, where drifts of sand
lap the road like a desiccated sea,
I used call on Arthur and Margaret

who would make me at home, serve tea
while their two youngest girls on the beach played house
with an old TV and battered suite of furniture.

Near the scrap metal dock, Billy’s and Mary’s
was like a miniature garden centre: wicker chairs,
a ceramic Laurel & Hardy, potted plants.

I never got round to calling on the others, near
the lorry-thundering roundabout, their curtains
flickering blue: a TV’s phantom hearth.

Ranged behind them: a ditch, a barbed-wire fence,
security cameras, enormous silent cranes
and neat aisles of well-travelled steel boxes

bigger than caravans, containing next
to anything (furniture, foodstuff, TVs
bound for homes or business parks), oblongs

of what we’ll soon have in common: securely sealed
absences of light numbered in rows
lived-with and familiar as a neighbour’s field.


The Tents

A little word, as practical as why,
unpacked itself and came to occupy

a sentence. It began to take up space
and found itself a nylon carapace ––

a growing cluster, bright and cellular,
as if directed by a branch of air.

Speeches and rain: the weather has been busy.
Between the streetlights and CCTV

intelligence is gathering. Something waits
that doesn’t need to rattle at the gates.

A single torch-beam rolls its eye. All’s quiet.
The tents are temporary but not quite.



Best to remember
they are human in there,
casually dressed as we are
though more secure, apt to forget
how much a matter of luck is this slot
that walls their cosy boredom and
stands sharply between
as a glass guillotine.



Mark Granier's fourth collection, Haunt, is due from Salmon Poetry in March 2015. The Tents was first published in The Robin Hood Book, Caparison, 2012.

Well Versed is edited by Jody Porter –
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