Rupert Loydell is Senior Lecturer in the School of Writing and Journalism at Falmouth University, a writer, editor and abstract artist. He has many books of poetry in print, including Dear Mary, The Return of the Man Who Has Everything, Wildlife and Ballads of the Alone, all published by Shearsman, and Talking Shadows from Red Ceilings. Shearsman also published Encouraging Signs, a book of essays, articles and interviews. He has also authored many collaborative works, several with Daniel Y. Harris; and edited Smartarse and co-edited Yesterday’s Music Today for Knives Forks & Spoons Press, From Hepworth’s Garden Out: poems about painters and St. Ives for Shearsman, and Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh: manifestos and unmanifestos for Salt.
Fairies, princesses, games of noughts & crosses,
old drawings by the girls, are scattered
throughout my notebooks: personal histories.
I’m struggling to relax and get ready
to travel and meet the world. Bad coffee
in the station cafe doesn’t help; I don’t like
being early but Peter needed to get to work.
Two books and a change of clothes,
an advance ticket and lots of stupid ideas
for the rest of my life. Thought I saw Cathy
but it wasn’t her, wasn’t anyone I knew.
Everything is on time or happens when
it happens: we will get there in the end.
Terminal decline is the long slow slope,
the way things fall apart, wear out,
or simply stop. The local train meanders off
on its branch line, the platform is filling up.
There’d better be a seat.
When I wake up
it is Somerset, blue thunder over the hills,
a patch of sunlight in the distance
illuminating but also bleaching out.
A red ball’s beached in the bend of a stream,
swans are asleep in the centre of a field
which has been carefully mown in a spiral
from the centre. There is a tractor and
a disused shed in every muddy corner.