Even as the ice melted
and waves crashed in taking cites with them,
as the land was bitten away like secret
nibbles on a biscuit until there's just a rugged middle
and an archipelago of outlying crumbs,
even then, when spires poked out like splinters
in the flood and roads led down from crowded hilltops
to nowhere but deep fish playgrounds
and every minute another server slipped under
the web fizzing away to steam,
they still sat around rescued mahogany,
wincing at the wet leather of the chairs,
banging the table, even as useless banknotes splattered
the rocks, with spit flying as strongly as the currents
they sang out their faith that this would all be solved
by the market.
At the start of the week there is already reverence
as those disposed to fawn at its constant warmth
regard the Aga. The luck that the house is equipped
with such a metallic alter is pored over, dry heat
discussed and temperature gradations
of the particular ovens charted, as if they were marble pillared chambers
of the world's greatest bathhouse.
Later should members of the group doubt
the heavy hob lid hallelujah, opting instead for fan assisted exacting ease
it is sacrilege, a blasphemy against
the order of stone floored kitchens, withering looks pity aspirations that
do not see the good news in thick wire coiled handles.
Even when the bacon deposited behind the shining metal door
is returned charred to dust, the conductor blames herself
for not being in synch with the mighty instrument.
By the final day the most devout stand hand on the Aga
risking burns, unable to part, so consumed with love
and gratitude, merging with the metal, sliding
into dry heat.
John Porter © 2015
So I just stood up, pressed off, put the stained mug
in my bag and left. I think is was 9.15am and since then
I've been baby walking.
At first it was wriggly screamers, I'd pace round
the streets for hours tiny head bawling
rocking against me until rhythms
forced nuzzles and snores. It started with one but
soon there were some on each shoulder and a few on the arms.
Like limpets on a rock striding further up hills by the moon
through rainy city neon they calmly look out,
fireflies on a ship through the gloom.
The parents were pleased to rest, a welcome slip into stupor
whilst I strode on just my eyes looking out
from a blanket of babies purring as they slept,
safe as I carried them home.
John Porter © 2015