Poem #18/52

Here is the eighteenth poem in my 52-poem sequence (one a week) for 2013, followed by some illumination and reflection:


Autumn city perched on the verge of night
black spires and brittle skeletons of trees
building bonfires as the sky rusts and effervesces
iron red and copper burnished into gold
sizzling cars and raised voices of football matches
energy dissipating in a million white lice
who crawl home over these blackened bones
of some forgotten dinosaur
too vast to reconstruct.


Sunset Over An Industrial Hinterland-Ally Thompson

We’re a bit out of season with this one, I guess. An Autumn poem for Spring. The sense of Glasgow as a dinosaur’s bones reflects its status as the erstwhile Victorian “second city of the British Empire”. Only in Lisbon, or perhaps Prague, have I ever found an equivalent sense of somewhere in the shadow of its own golden days. I suppose it may account to some extent, for the melancholy in my own character, artists being the sort of people who soak up the culture around them like blotting paper. I was still living in my top floor flat in Bridgeton at this point, with panoramic views across Glasgow, what my brother Ally Thompson called an “industrial hinterland’ in his painting (inset) inspired by the area. There was a football pitch a few hundred yards away where matches were played regularly, until the school closed and the grounds were run down into yet more visual dereliction. I didn’t realise until they were gone, how much I liked the distant voices from the matches, the sense of background excitement which it loaned to a Saturday morning hangover. There were four trees opposite my house that always struggled for light, growing up against the gable of the school. Then when the school was demolished, all but three of those trees fell over in the first winter storms. If that’s an allegory, folks, make of it what you will…

This entry was posted in 52 Poem Sequence, Architecture, Art, Poetry, Psychology. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Poem #18/52

  1. Pingback: 52 Poems for 2013, 19/52:

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