Saturday, 7 March 2015

And The Sirens Sweetly Sing

This week's theme is noises in the night -  and so here is an aural tapestry that collates the heard experiences of many different Blackpool nights into one awful archetype. The setting is Central Drive, which is within earshot of where I live. Also close by is the ambulance despatch centre and the sirens of the poem belong to the emergency vehicles that provide a fairly constant soundtrack to a typical Blackpool night.

I read the poem as a work in progress at the open mic night in St Annes last night and have made a couple of judicious changes to it as a result. See what you think...

And The Sirens Sweetly Sing 
Early evening light is leaking
out of wintry Blackpool skies;
this is Central Drive preparing
for the assault which will arrive
in the bleakest hours of darkness.
On the corner stands the hashman
with his pockets full of wares,
tabs and twists to suit all comers.
Surreptitious stare the housewives
hurrying home with bingo winnings,
when the sirens start to sing. 

Cats inhabit undercarland
staring wise into the night,
keeping counsel, keeping foxwatch.
As the stars wheel cross the heavens,
hear the druggies spit and swear
at throwing-out and throwing-up time.
Rowdy revellers stagger past,
cursing as they slip on dogshit,
shouting into mobile phones
as if we need to share their dramas,
while the sirens sweetly sing. 

Midnight pissers water lamp-posts,
roosting gulls look unconcerned,
branches dance in manic patterns
weaving wavering shadow shows
choreographed by chilling wind.
Some lovers moan on squeaky bedsprings,
passion filtering through the blinds,
while others consummate in doorways
coupling like there’s no tomorrow,
steamy breath and muffled cries
rise as the sirens sweetly sing. 

Weeds grow rampant in the gutters,
eerie flowerings of the night;
on the pavement someone mutters
‘Oh god help me, I am bleeding.’
There is no one else in sight.
A lonely bird begins to warble,
ushers in another day;
frozen trails on Central Drive,
the evidence of last night’s traffic
glinting in the pre-dawn half-light
as the sirens fade away.
Thanks for reading. Have a good week, S :-)


Anonymous said...

Brilliant, Steve. Love this.