Bricklayer – by Clint Wastling

 

English, header, stretcher, Flemish bond,
he taught me the basic stack before a brew
of builder’s tea and a fag break drew all to
the Portacabin.
If he could lay five hundred bricks
he’d get a full day’s pay.
Through all but the worst of weather
he’d work long hours, fingers taped,
shammy gloves kept out the lime:
bed of mortar, brick, tap, level.
He could halve a brick with one rap of the trowel:
Before he died,
dad listed houses, bungalows, schools,
a cold war bunker
but his first, he spoke of fondly,
flats on Bricknall Avenue whilst
apprenticed to old Jack Mather.
Perhaps he thought we’d photograph them all.
Make the mortar
mix sand and lime: 3:1 – blend in the water.
I see him now, his thin frame,
a shock of auburn hair
and fingers which
built brick on brick to house his every dream.

 

 

 

Clint Wastling is a writer based in the East Riding of Yorkshire. He’s had poetry published in Gold, Dreamcatcher and River Poets Journal  among others in the UK and USA. His first novel, The Geology of Desire, was published recently by Stairwell Books. His second, Tyrants Rex, part 1 of a dystopian sci-fi trilogy, is due out in August 2017. www.clintwastling.webs.com

Ravenserodd – by Clint Wastling

 

This is December, no spring tides.
The bell sounds in alarm over the mudflats,
reminding me of villages long devoured by the sea.
The bell of Ravenserodd is all that survives.
The town of the living dismantled,
the town of the dead re-interred
within earshot of the bell.
The sea shall have them all,
the sea will make short work of man’s creation.
A revenge on Bollingbroke’s treason.

Boulder clay removed tide by tide.
The storm eroded the slender promontory
creating an island of Spurn.
This too will wash away.
All our names will wash away,
taking the toil of labourers,
the cry of babies,
their mother’s milk and all land’s green.
To leave a pale sky and
a cold grey ocean to rumble against the strand.

 

 

 

Clint Wastling is a writer based in the East Riding of Yorkshire. He’s had poetry published in Gold, Dreamcatcher and Aesthetica as well as in literary magazines in the USA. His first novel, “The Geology of Desire” was published recently by Stairwell Books. It’s a crime novel set in and around Whitby and Hull in the early 1980’s and WWII and features an undergraduate geologist as the protagonist and would be investigator, available here .