Fly Fishing in San Francisco – by Oz Hardwick

 

Fog sprawls like grey lilies from a dropped bouquet
as the day cools. Beautiful women in rainbow trout saris
swim in shoals down the Embarcadero, flicking tails and
flashing eyes. I sit with a book of poems, sixty years old,
ink still wet, each verse a love letter. I tear out each page,
careful not to disturb the words, fold then into damselflies,
cast them on the breeze. I wait for that special one to rise,
sip the air with full, tight lips, and leap like quicksilver
into the still pool I cup in my moon-curved hand.

 

 

 

Oz Hardwick is a York-based poet, photographer, and academic. His latest poetry collection is The Ringmaster’s Apprentice (Valley Press, 2014), and he is co-author, with Amina Alyal, of the Saboteur-shortlisted Close as Second Skins (IDP, 2015). He has delusions of musical competence, and his one regret is that he is not Belgian. His website can be found here.

Falling in Love with San Francisco – by Oz Hardwick

 

In the shadow of the bridge, a white café opened
its arms, welcomed me inside, to where she stood,
cool, preparing green tea. Fingers dancing like a musician,

she chopped lines of leaves, like the careful lines
orbiting her eyes. In a slouchy blue sweatshirt,
her grey-flecked hair casually tied, her practised hands

ritualised the mundane. As she passed me the cup,
with a slow, unbuttoning smile, I wanted to beg her
to sail away with me across the bay’s smashed-glass dazzle,

but my life was waiting in the cab outside,
and I could hear the meter ticking.

 

 

 

Oz Hardwick is a York-based poet, photographer, and academic. His latest poetry collection is The Ringmaster’s Apprentice (Valley Press, 2014), and he is co-author, with Amina Alyal, of the Saboteur-shortlisted Close as Second Skins (IDP, 2015). He has delusions of musical competence, and his one regret is that he is not Belgian. His website can be found here.

The Bursting Shell – by Oz Hardwick

 

The Bursting Shell
                    after Christopher Nevinson

Sightlines curve, break, I
see spirals, trace shadow-shards,
splinters split from darkness, I
hear colours, smell fear,
exhilaration of blazing sky,
flying fragments of still night
surprising stone, rising, I
hold breath, blind to colours,
bright light splinters, spirals
traced in black, bloodlines,
wood split, rising in eyes
that can’t blink, can’t think,
curve up to dark noise,
strict discipline of chaos
spun through hard shadows, I
choke on broken fear, flying
down to blazing roots, ripened
fruit of fire, ripped sky,
spiral light, sightlines split,
my eye closed, closed, I
close my eye, never unsee
the vortex of sharp unbelieving,
light shearing skin and bone.

 

 

 

Oz Hardwick is a York-based poet, photographer, and academic. His latest poetry collection is The Ringmaster’s Apprentice (Valley Press, 2014), and he is co-author, with Amina Alyal, of the Saboteur-shortlisted Close as Second Skins (IDP, 2015). He has delusions of musical competence, and his one regret is that he is not Belgian. His website can be found here.