8 Days Remaining
Adrian Green

Thursday 18th
posted by Jody Porter in Arts

Well Versed is edited by JODY PORTER

Cardiff Bay
i.m. James Green (d 23 May 1881)

Today the colours of evening
caught in the lens of a lengthening day
are shadowed by the past –

a sepia history
of the coking coal in mounds
awaiting dockside ships.

It was here you toiled
amongst the fuel your son would shovel
in the grime and heat of engine rooms

and here before the dock was drained
and cleaned, the moorings
and the coal all gone,

your world was ended
at the sidings of the West Bute Dock –
some affliction of the heart it seems.

Today this evening tourist
traces steps you may have walked,
imagines life before electric light,
records the images you’d never dreamed.


Sitting in the shelter
watching the sea,
the estuary blue
in the afternoon sun,
white-cider cans scattering
around my feet,
I remember the night,
the bite of cold
and the beans on toast
from the Salvation Army,
and hope tonight
there’ll be a place
at the hostel
or that cider will
ease the pain,
bestow oblivion.


Afternoon Sounds from the Window

A train rattling along the pier,
footsteps on the path
and birdsong from the council gardens –
a persistence of sparrows and pigeons,

the occasional car door catch
and snatch of radio sound
released to the air

and half-heard voices

and the distant squealing
of kids on the fairground rides

and the darker screams inside
from behind the door.



A Confusion of Politics and Love

Enough of the blues from Mississippi,
that delta misery from over there.

We have our own,
not only the chords in endless
eight, twelve and sixteen bars,
not just the ecstasy and end of love,

but every day the end of hope,
the homeless, the sanctioned,
the hopelessly confused

whose pulse is beating
with the rhythm of the blues

an analgesic for
the lies of politicians,
the fickleness of love.



Adrian Green lives in Southend, Essex, the county where he was born, and is one of the organisers of the Essex Poetry Festival. A former small press magazine editor, his poems and reviews have appeared in several magazines and anthologies in England and Romania as well as two pamphlet collections. His current full-length collection is Chorus and Coda from the Littoral Press.

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