In my construction hat
I can form indefinite doors,
windows, chalk scrawls.
can carve a familiar pub,
eke out pale, sickly, yellow walls.
In passing, can sup
the raucous reek and lather
of stale booze and tobacco smoke
smudged with the muffled din of absent fathers.
At will, call
the ever darkened ghosts
of an old aunt’s home,
the bunker at the arse
of the close, and the blackly,
comforting smell of coal,
firing me up stair flights
where a dirty gas mantle
will light and haunt a flickering door…
the name in brass,
where all that living must have been,
get a cuckoo-clock on a chiaroscuro’d wall,
manufacture a geyser’s boiling hot chrome Dalek arm
by the cracked enamelled sink at the window…
but the rest refuses me
and is gone,
demolished by years of unthinking.
this act of failed remembering,
and the sadness sung here is not of absent friends,
but is an improvised whistle of loneliness
only found in the tossed past of lost things.