Ticking of Clocks

Ticking of clocks
Ticking of clocks
holes in his life
like a pair of old socks,
no time to reflect,
fool, martyr, sinner
ticking past Harlow
and Kenton and Pinner
counting the tiles
on the roofs of the houses
passing like summer by
girls in white blouses,
women at windows
making no mark,
skin lighting the dark,
working the odds and
sharing the slices,
of financial pies and
pondering prices
of Gilts, Bonds and Stocks
leaving holes in his life
like an old pair of socks
and inside his heart is
the ticking of clocks


Ticking of clocks
Ticking of clocks
Ticking of clocks


Toothbrush and flannel
nightdress and knickers
smiling forlornly at
Rasters and Vicars
and hoping that someone
will please recognise
by her shape or a glance
or the look in her eyes
that somewhere inside
she is holding a stranger
and leaving her home,
leaving the danger
of deep disapproval
of parents and brothers
who've forgotten their love
and are worried while others
with masks on their faces,
kick over the dust
on their own faulty traces
carrying new life,
secretly, ventral
slowing the clock
into Manchester Central
face at the window
face at the gate
remembering his face
when she said
she was late
and nothing must stop
for the ticking of clocks


Ticking of clocks
Ticking of clocks
Ticking of clocks


Leaving the wife
and the kids in their cots
spanning the water
down to the docks
feeling the spray
and the salt on your face
slipping the rope
on the whole human race,
acres of metal
pushing it's nose
from the vast tidal wave,
shunning the land
and the home and the grave,
slices of living each day
leave you thinner,
off to Zeebrugge,
back home for dinner
rattling chains while the
ghosts come in flocks
and all your life set by
the ticking of clocks


Ticking of clocks
Ticking of clocks
Ticking of clocks


Opens the pages,
scratches on paper
hands over his life
to someone whose eyes
watch the lines
as they narrow and taper
rivers like promises
broad, cold and shallow
flash under the wheels,
forgotten tomorrow,
runs out of lies
then finds one to borrow,
riding the back of time
and it's arrow,
willing it onwards
make the connection
mobile is ringing and
bringing the promise
of landslide election,
rejoicing in money
in prowess and deeds
ss the tickings of clocks
slide him gently to Leeds
but nowhere in sight are
his real wants and needs
buried deep in his soul
crying under the rocks
where they can't be heard
for the ticking of clocks


Ticking of clocks
Ticking of clocks
Ticking of clocks


Neat leather bag
holding a letter
and several cards
with the hope she'll get better
and her pocket holds triggers
that fire in her mind
the memory of faces
she's leaving behind
like the washing peg doll,
that was made
by her daughter
and the Tears of the Virgin
her sister had brought her
that crumples along with
a coin for the meter
and the stub of a ticket
for the old Empire theatre,
lining her pocket with
decades and lives
that she's lived in a silence
that illness now mocks
and allows her to hear
the ticking of clocks
as it pulls her along
to her own destination,
holding in hope from
the last operation
but knowing inside
that a piece of her heart
has already died
and her hands shake
like leaves as
she holds the cold cup
and waits for the
rest of her life
to catch up
in a final reflection
as the clock pulls her onwards
through Stainforth and Settle
then over the moors
to make the connection,
the last train to Lourdes,
and as the clock ticks to dust
in the finest of powder
the tick in her head becomes
louder and louder
until all she can hear
as her life sways and rocks
is the ticking
and ticking,
and ticking,
of clocks.

 

 

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