Ralph Hawkins - Six Poems

Ralph Hawkins

Recycled Poem

there was a knothole for a nuthatch right in the middle of the poem

he ringed three birds and let them fly through the meadow towards the bat-box

the fat engine driver has blonde hair or is that the station master at Hitchin

I dream of a wet-room with a whirlpool buttering you up in the corridor

there you will encounter the slow descent of outpatients, peg-legs full of wormholes

my mind went blank coming to terms with the scale of a classical economy column after column

it would all kick-off later in a border dispute or the bar round the corner

there a red chicken beside a glazed toffee-apple will talk to the trees, whispers Louise

Historical Document

he sat at his table
and made room for thought
it was quite a large room

likely as not
there was a paternoster
and some symbols
concerning current
economic thinking

his mother had spent
most of her life in the kitchen
smoking a Senior Service
as she rested from her
lifelong chores

she had never encountered
the imaginative realm
other than the old testament
and her weekly magazine

she would surely
be shocked at today’s
goings-on, the radio
tuned to her favourite programme

she was there when they
put a dog into space
most of them wandering
the suburbs in packs

some hours occasionally
contained a fleeting
happiness, a spark of life
her children and the bathtub
with lilac coloured salts


the orangutans have mosaics but not wallpaper
the wallpaper has a pattern of flowers
the flowers are decorative in a vase set by the window

a shadow takes over and scudding passes over a cold body of water
a boat passes through famous straits
another set of values take over

they pick at the fruit cautiously
they have to think of the weekend and the visitors
they move on to the next aisle
Java coffee, Assam tea, Empire biscuit

perhaps you can play a tune on the piano,
perhaps not, or read the latest forecasts
perhaps they knew it was on its way


deer wander the city
what we know is only ever a fraction
now there are appeals for a more modest approach
things do fuck up
trying to control
non-linear systems

the slow outlet of
its dying breath in
the wintery night settles,
her eyes still open
I reach out
at loss to touch the
thin ice forming on a stream

why curse
governed by fear
the body on autopilot
operating on guess work
and spirit levels
it can’t be rehydrated
or returned to
what it once was

A Look at the Weather

I recall the wolf
fine rain on the dog’s hair

pained she seemed
to question the sky
saw the river capture leaves

worn as a ghost
abstracted, pale

she looked at several functions
the winter sun strangely aberrant
she looked unwell

could it be predictive
the veins running through the cheese

his idea of a self
concealed in a Russian doll
pushing seaweed into his mouth

it gnawed away at him
what he’d done
and what she’d done to him

Huge Spider Assumed Dead in England

a splatter of traffic cones

a raw sewage count by the Thames

England a Billy Bunter theme park

from North to South

a bite of grouse for tea bacon wrapped

Billy waving to the crowd cream donut

outsized pantaloons and chubby smirk

a scheduled hanging at Newgate

of the underfed and homeless and hospitalised

levelling the ground beneath us

Copyright © Ralph Hawkins  2020