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My Favourite Planet > Blogs > Edwin Drood's Column > August 2013
back Edwin Drood's Column
20 August 2013
While the Drood's away
Hugh Featherstone continues to span the Drood's summer absence with a bridge of pipe dreams.
Arnheim at the Tate

Really important secrets
those doves in the hat
or baked potatoes in tin foil
or the blinked reverberation in the hurtling ball
create their own internal space, their own specific language
living inward to a soft dark centre
row on rich, luxurious row
like chocolates in a box

Yet mine are more gregarious
and must maintain their dignity
down in the jangling ghetto
of bank-codes, pencil stubs and car-keys
and where I hide my felt-tips from the kids
and never-to-be-forgotten, useless phone numbers
here they are constrained to live, meaningful but cheap
too poor to snub the company they keep

Far from the ethereal cruising bread
the stone egg and the mountainous beak
the air is close, the prospect bleak
in there with the giant comb
the ponderous apple in the pregnant room
the printer's jungle of garbled jetsam
just try to get some comfort if you can
from reflections on the back of someone's head
in the grey-man rain
or wrestling coat racks
or the mantelpiece with its emerging train

Though doubtless similar
no two men's secrets are ever quite the same
and doggedly do they resist the public dream

A smell, a taste, the sound of crickets
the last cigarette in a foreign pack
a curling bracket closed long since
on a worthless coin, a cinema ticket
the nostalgic Meccano of a small brass sprocket

I take stock, put some order in my heart
and lock it.

From Bird under water, a selection of poems by Hugh Featherstone

© Hugh Featherstone

Another poem from this selection will appear next time the Drood's away.

The Bird under water homepage includes a foreword by Hugh Featherstone
and a linked list of the poems as they appear.
Edwin Drood's Column, the blog by The Mysterious Edwin Drood,

at My Favourite Planet Blogs.

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