Disused Quarry 1956

A repost – please read in conjunction with ‘Pointless Connections 2016’

It was when the tadpoles
got too old for the sweet-jar
that he went to the quarry,
performed the necessary ceremony,
and first felt paternal.
The water rippled baptismally 
as they submerged,
shaking off tails
in convoys of adulthood.

the sun patted his head
as he turned 
on reconnaissance,
leading the way up the cliff.

And there
was the crane!
gun-barrel drooping,
its last dog-fight
acted out on a boy’s battle-field.

The levers – 
what a sorry crew they made,
the way Monty’s men
had to leave them,
to the heat and flies:
the engine still smelled of heavy action,
dripped imagined suffering, retribution…

the Sunday-school sensation was there,
squatting in the reeds of his mind,
its frog-eyed surveillance 
at tongue’s length,
like a sniper
ready to pick him off
if he didn’t keep low,
in hand-to-hand retreat.





© Nemo 2023
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Gerald, quite often your poems are based on boyhood memories and the imagination they inspire. They are very personal and obviously cherished.
Many people can see parallels of their own youth in such poems.
I appreciated the thoughts expressed in this piece but failed to understand the reference to ‘the Sunday-school sensation’.


Your wanderings down memory lane have always enthralled me, I have lived a similar life I suppose. The tadpoles in jam-jars are as real in my mind today as sixty odd years ago. The Sunday School was like yours, something my parents thought I should suffer on their behalf. Like you it was a short lived experience
Great writing Gerald.


Then invent some Gerald, invent some

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