John Porter


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.

Dry heat

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

Baby walking

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