Local things

Local things
At Carsethorn, Solway Coast

A bollard waits for a ship
that will never come in,
the wood is eroded, squeezed
into a Victorian fashion,
a wasp-waist.

Weather-scraped, fissured, it flexes
the muscles of the original tree.
I think of the woodmen who felled it
and the waggoners who hauled it here
to this small port
of small employments, sheds, outbuildings,
decrepit before they were built

but places of work in a place 
of half-remembered industries,
faded with the lettering of firms
that disappeared a century ago.

Living here, perhaps I’d feel time
making my choices for me:
to paint a life with blue of sea and sky,
to unload the dream of a harbour from the quay
and carry it home

and leave behind
the sacks of meal, the nails and netting,
the coal and the cattle feed,
the greys and browns
of unremembered, unremarkable routines
and daily drabnesses. Local things.
Donald Adamson

from The Gift of Imperfect Lives (Markings Publications, 2002)

Reproduced by permission of the publisher.
Donald Adamson

Donald Adamson is a poet and translator, and a teacher of creative writing and translation studies. 

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