The Things We Had To Say


We met on the bridge. You with your words, me with mine,
both of us primed to recite our side of the story,
to voice our concerns and regrets, swallowing deep breaths
ready to contest the wind that rattled the wires around us.

Your ruby cheeks, your white knuckles, O’ you had so much to say,
and I felt the tension tough as sirloin steak, bound to burst,
split, and break at any moment, to quarrel whatever language
I had to muster as I first arrived to meet your gaze.

It was over one hundred years ago that they built the bridge,
to join a suburb and small village. Chains, bolts, girders, rods,
still hold tight together after all these years.

They’ve not broken, nor have they fallen apart, no matter
the thousands of people who rock the length in their marches,
their weight and influence forever carried day and night.

Both lands are held because great men and women
poured blood, sweat and tears to make ends meet.
They worked at it.

So, we decided to do that, follow the good example
to bond our little thoughts so often apart.
We left together, with the rust beneath the paintwork.

Photograph of Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol, UK. 

This piece was very much inspired by both Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s bridge as well as Seamus Heaney’s poem Scaffolding

The Artist

banksyThe world is your canvas,
and whether it be
to create

or destroy,
do what you must.

Image taken of graffiti artist Banksy’s piece on Frogmore Street, Bristol.

This piece, like any other of Banksy’s, sprung up overnight. The entire path, the entire street in fact, the next morning was blocked with a crowd in awe. Photographs, phonecalls and press. ‘Well-Hung Lover’ is perhaps one of the more famous Banksy pieces in Bristol, behind the Mild, Mild West feature on Jamaica Street.

I love how artists, in any shape or form, have this dire need to express. Without it, they can’t communicate, they can’t discover themselves, it’s as if they cannot breathe. It could be through art, it could be through cooking, nevertheless it’s vital practice for the creative. Despite the laws, despite defacing private property, Banksy delivered a piece that has stood the test of time: a simple, thought-provoking image of humour.

And whilst it didn’t quite ruin the picture, perhaps the original intention, I love how someone else felt the need to express themselves as well, in that same particular place, with a dose of blue paint.

In any creation, something is equally destroyed. The plain white paper becomes ink stained. The grand boulder becomes chiselled to monument. The lump of clay hardens to pottery.

Art will always transform, whether it be mind, body, or the side of a sexual health clinic.


The Life of Cranes


They say at night, they come to life,
and run their jibs through the water,
then stroll the port to stretch their legs
deep in maritime nostalgia,

when once they bowed and hoisted up
heavy casks and crates of cargo.
Timber, coffee, cocoa, and coal,
pineapple, figs, and tobacco.

Although their might and strong metal,
these are the old and kind giraffes,
at dawn returning to their place
for tourists and their photographs.