Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010

DERWENTWATER'S CLOCKS

by TIM SANSOM


Look at this street.
Do I remember it?
I have roamed about these pale buildings in dreams.
They are uninhabited and I notice that I am not curious why ?
All I wait for is my own command to walk.
 
There are no angry crowds or burning effigies.
Just the notion that the inanimate is growing taller
And the chirping of crickets.
 
Suddenly an explosion from the next block roars out aloud!
And women are chanting something but where are they ?
 
I have to get out of these clothes
Because I am in the wrong day of the week
Yes, the facades of these stone houses are reaching up further to the black troubled sky.
I DO remember this
I DO!
I feel my stomach pitted with an urge to enter the chapel
I must hurry
I penetrate the old yellow walls like an apparition
I can smell sulphur from the blast
But in here it is overwhelmed with the fragrance of bees wax polish and lavender
The most beautiful physical Christ is suspended from the large oak beam way up above me
White stone chiselled into life and sadness
He looks down to me
Very slightly very slowly he sways left and right as a pendulous crucifix
The crickets stop
The chain groans
 
Everything contained in his sweet expression warms me into unfathomable peace
 
Then in an instant I am running
Running downhill
Gravity taking me faster than I can run
Like an over zealous child my pummelled limbs give
And I fall down and look skyward as I land 

I regain myself, I stand up again
I am inside some old peculiar boutique
.
A cacophony of ticking and chiming lullaby me into rapture

Added: 29.04.2010

Judges' comments on this poem

06.05.2010

Yes, light and appealing

06.05.2010

Have you experimented with writing less dream "plot", but finer detail? eg "Some ... boutique" could become a truly vivid, evocative site.

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