The fog is think, and thin,
an ephemeral obscurity
swathing the landscape.
It doesn’t spread, but rather dissipates,
sharpening once-faded skeletal branches
bringing forth colour drained before,
an overexposed photograph.
It lingers on the air, the vague taste clouds
my nostrils, the cool, the indecisiveness
heavy on the tongue
It’s past twelve
and I’m trying to be rebellious.
Well, Sunday morning to be exact.
I am sat on my bedroom floor
wearing slipper socks, writing.
That is the extent of my letting-my-hair-down.
It’s short anyway.
I had it cut Friday afternoon
with the diggers
and Oscar Pistorius on the radio
and a crappy
inbetween snow and rain.
Both my clocks are wrong.
One is 45 fast:
The other is somewhere
between 10 and 15 slow.
The walls of my room
span time zones.
To me, that is rebellion.
On the land there is an emptiness.
Steel carcasses, drained,
stripped from the earth by rust and iron claws.
Where once its fluid core streamed black, carbonic blood,
people get drunk, stumble the streets
born of welded muscle and sweat.
The world is paler.
The scent of fresh-hewn coal, of engine oil,
no longer blooms on the air.
I long to taste the ripe stagnation
of iron dust, pitch powder.
In my lungs there is nothing
but the sterile air.
I can’t feel as my forefathers did,
brush my hands across a ship’s great hull,
feel the coalface crumble.
My hands, unmarked by work, are forsaken:
my hands, unmarked by work.