UKArchive ID: 35687

by nemo
Originally published on October 26, 2015 in Poetry        

i.   1954

Either mistaken half a mile off target
from the blacked-out Mersey docks,

or off-loaded onto with full apologies
on the way back to the Fatherland,

it was a hovering void still faintly
overhung with the miasma of loss –

but still a house, despite its toppled
gate-posts, draughty entrance-hall,

open-plan rooms either side, scatterings
of deco tiles from where the kitchen was.

To think living took place there once,
all traces being long since levelled off,

where boys in worsted shorts
crouched, and killed sixpenny baddies,

while neighbours in rooms remembered
less and less as rationing came to an end at last.

ii.   2014

Still a withered hand sticking up,
curtain ring on wedding finger,
tatter of speckled hem of girl’s dress
snagged on stump of water pipe,
charred scraps of a Liverpool Echo
dated   ept mb r   1   4 .
Next door
the exhausted hotel stares,
tired of surviving the bomb,
its willow drooping over the wall
like a dribbling fountain
weeping gobbets of grief
into stagnant pools,
where swarms of sassy frogs do skinny-dips,
all pretending to be the same,
and going glug glug in rainbow slicks,
hearts all throbbing and throbbing
like motorbikes on heat.

Small boys could take them home,
have little epiphanies with rampant cats,
but not Earnshaw, Riley or Reid,                                
all gone, all bloody well gone,
the only one left is me,
mucking around with this.

© nemo (Nemo on OLD UKA)

UKArchive ID: 35687
Archived comments for Bombsite

Supratik on 26-10-2015
“hearts all throbbing and throbbing

like motorbikes on heat.”

I loved this poem. Excellent.



Author’s Reply:
Thanks, Supratik. Two for one here – which did you love?

Did you nominate it? If so, thanks!

Regards, G

Supratik on 26-10-2015
Sorry but I loved both. Supratik

Author’s Reply:
Super Supratik!

Gothicman on 26-10-2015
Your excellent second added stanza brought the first recycled to full fruition, Gerald, gave it all an extra feeling of the ravages of time and its effects, your usual poetical brilliance again, you're back in business! I admire so much that your poetry is free from precious or stilted text, just real life observations using colourful phrasings and wonderful descriptions.


Author’s Reply:
Thanks, Trevor. First one from 20 years ago. A bit of a p-take, the second one. Apologies to anyone offended. Another six months before the next comes along,


Pronto on 26-10-2015
Loved it but 1954? should that not be 1945? or am I confused?

I've only got a small brain tha' knows! 🙂

Author’s Reply:
Thanks, Pronto. 1954. Bombsites were still around and we played on them. Rationing was still hitting hard till 1954.


Pronto on 26-10-2015
Of course we did, I played on bombsites myself. Sorry to misunderstand you mate. I remember rationing, too. 2 Oz of sweets per week went up to 4 oz which s probably why I still have my own teeth.

Author’s Reply:
Do you remember what rationing books smelt like?