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Rupert Loydell - Three Poems

Rupert Loydell

ABANDONED RAILWAYS

Whether the rusty tracks
lead to an abandoned station
or into the mouth of a mine
they show that something
used to be here and people
wanted to visit or travel
to elsewhere. This county's
full of the past, reminders
of how it never moved on,
preferred to become derelict
and defunct, detached from
contemporary meaning.

Whether time passes
quickly or slowly, it moves
on around us, behind us,
beyond us, wherever it is
that time goes, before
we have nothing left,
only memories and ideas
of what could or might
have been, things we
should have done or wish
we had. We betrayed
our own intentions,

left ourselves behind
with our dreams and
settled for what looked like
an easy life but turned out
to be a branch line with
few passengers travelling
through. Time passed
even quicker having
at first seemed slow;
we never caught up
with ourselves or found
out how to get back

to where we left or
wished to go. There
were no connections
when we needed them,
no-one knew the way,
least of all ourselves,
busy earning the fare
and turning to face
the sun to stay warm.
We left the tracks
to rust and forgot about
ourselves and others,

let life be lived elsewhere,
forgetting ours was also
a sort of life if we decided
that it was. The rails
are hidden under flowers
and there's been
a small landslide
along the track.
I don't know how to be
anywhere or anyone else,
have shunted myself
into this siding.

 
 
 
 
THE SHORTEST STORY EVER TOLD

We sat and watched the evening fade, the colours of the fields and woods changing across the creek, accompanied by soft prosecco and olives rolled in herbs.

The book of essays finally arrived. One of the editors asked us to contribute four summers ago in New York; it has been a long slow process to arrive at publication.

In the distance a foghorn calls, persuading self-expression from the stereo's speakers: abstract vocals and gentle hum.

It took me over 20 years to find a copy of this album on vinyl. I only ever had a cassette copy, recorded for me by one of the musicians. Now, of course, it is readily available on CD.
 
Inertia is all. Time has slowed and stopped; I walk through a mist of effort and despair and achieve nothing. I play music and write very little.
 
The sky has lowered and may fall at any moment. I would be on sick leave now, if I was sick. Or sicker.

'Your last pack of many things more than gratefully received. I liked your words.'
 
 
 

 
 
 
'IF THERE'S ONE THING I COULD DO FOR YOU'

'I was a wing in heaven blue'

   – Patti Smith, 'Wing'

The garden smells like early morning summer
in Italy, before the burning starts: still a hint
of green and damp, still shade to sit in

and find out how the book ends, the day
starts, how I could focus on something
instead of flitting from paintings to words

to painting to music and back again,
with depression at my heels. If there's
one thing you could do for me it's this,

to sweep me up under your wing
and transport me somewhere else.
Give me the world, even if it isn't

always enough. I want to be
unforgettable, love and promises
poured out into each electric night.

 
 



Copyright © Rupert Loydell, 2021

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