Out of Breath - Noel Williams
I was delighted and proud to go to the recent launch of my co-editor Noel's first poetry collection, Out of Breath, published by Cinnamon Press. To celebrate, I'm reproducing here one of my favourites from the collection.
It was not the last day I rode that bike,
my hands tacked to plastic, bell big as an apple,
the sun oozing over the embankment
to make toffee of the tarmac.
Not the last day of summer I'd scoot under my bridge
where the road tipped into darkness,
plough the red wheels up the roadside dump of gravel,
wheels drowning, shovelling, stuck.
It was not the last day wild grit
sprayed up to my knees as I heard
tractors joust beyond the embankment,
rooks spar and flap with the racket of parents.
It was the day I understood now slides
in tiny stones. Coming home
to no radio by the sink, her empty coat hook,
Dad gripping the puncture kit with meticulous fury.
And here are a couple of pictures of the book launch: