I Thought – by Lesley Quayle

I Thought

that driving back through Bradford might alleviate
the pain. Its dialects of stone and slate, a slab sky
steamed open on a spout of sunlight.
                                                                   I thought
the narratives of ‘mucky oyl’ and soot stained mills
like teeth gone bad, would sabotage that other,
keener hurt, remind me why
                                                     I thought
it would be fine to leave. The tactics of delusion.
My greener bailiwick of fells and sheep, hay meadows,
black skies wheeled with stars,
                                             I thought
there’s not enough bairns’ tea in all the world
to comfort and my heart’s a blade in my chest.
Back, south, through Bradford
                                                      I thought
to dissolve the ache, like copper pennies
in Coke. But it’s maudlin beneath my skin, I feel
unexpected affection – protective.
                                         I thought
to unpick all the echoes, bridge both
hemispheres –  oasis/sinkhole, National Park or
dreggy, blighted back-to-backs.
                                                      I thought,
I truly thought, that driving back through Bradford
might alleviate the pain.

 

 

 

Lesley Quayle is a poet and folk/blues singer currently living in The Purbecks in Dorset. She has a pamphlet, Songs For Lesser Gods (Erbacce), featuring her prizewinning sonnet sequence of the same name, and a collection, Sessions, published by Indigo Dreams.

First Date – by Lesley Quayle

 

Here was the moment when it came apart,
a judder, scrape of tyres on a gravel lane,
crank of unco-operative gears. Hours parked,
the old car jacked aslant beneath a burst of elder,
high rise brambles and the ash trees crones,
you sweating, grunting, musked by heat and toil,
the wheel-nuts rusted, each wrench and slip of brace
a petite mort. Hope rises
only to fall on its arse.

Hot-blooded in your rage, you threw the brace
I watched it spin over yellow grass,
skim straggled sycamores and split the sky.
You looked like a young god, kneeling, head down,
damp curls tender on the nape of your neck,
shirt sculpted to your body in dark patches.
I lay beside you, mapped in soil and grit,
still unschooled in the lexicons of the heart,
unconcerned with rescue plans,
squinting at clouds,
the graffiti of birds.

 

 

 

Lesley Quayle is a poet and folk/blues singer currently living in The Purbecks in Dorset. She has a pamphlet, Songs For Lesser Gods (Erbacce), featuring her prizewinning sonnet sequence of the same name, and a collection, Sessions, published by Indigo Dreams.

Lampyris Noctiluca (Firefly Glow-worm) – by Lesley Quayle

 

Your voice, from the garden,
urgent in the moonless dark.
I find you by the twisted willow
which wreathes the tar-faced pool.
‘There’s magic here’.
I see it.
Needles of gold unpicking night,
the willow, strung with glints,
woven into the shadows
like a nest of stars.

 

 

 

Lesley Quayle is a poet and folk/blues singer currently living in The Purbecks in Dorset. She has a pamphlet, Songs For Lesser Gods (erbacce), featuring her prizewinning sonnet sequence of the same name, and a collection, Sessions, published by Indigo Dreams.