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last update:

23 Aug23

Valerie Bridge photo e-mail Valerie

and in the shop…
collections –
“A Somersault of Doves”
“air dumplings and paper cutlets”,
George Mann Publications




A poet makes nothing happen

on this surface
where a Painted Lady hitches her skirts and a lift
on a rig with bleached red sails                     hauled in by this man
whose skin is so leathered it’s parchment
yet this space is       blank
as     nothing    happens
while he’s splicing the mainstay and layering a line,
it’s another patchwork day on which sunlight gleams
incidentally,       the wind veers,     plays hide-and-see games
in the man’s sea-staring eyes        while this Painted Lady
suns herself on his white mast
this space is blank
as       nothing            happens
while something might lie coiled under his spent gaze
until this Painted Lady preens her antennae
                    and the poet of many seascapes experience
loosens his hold              and the sail flaps again
the boom swings                 the sheet slips through his fingers
while     nothing    happens
on the surface
he slides into the wave and in a filmy fluster
surmises     something                in the acute angle of sunlight
the Painted Lady’s opulence is          tattered
and           nothing   happen
on this surface
and while she twitches her flimsy petticoats       and lifts
the keel rightens          he thinks it’s possible to surface
it’s hard to climb back aboard       get his hands on the sheet
check his postion           search for the Painted Lady
while      on this surface
        nothing        happens
the skipper dances          over the waves
her angle tilted
no correction made
and       nothing     is                  happening

Valerie Bridge

poem published in Brando’s Hat;
winner of the Whitbread Prize