UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY


JONATHAN BUTCHER

Over season

My legs dangle over the granite and limestone,
perched on this hill that was churned up from the
earth like forced larva, by hands that saw little
daylight.

I contemplate this whilst smoking the cigarette stolen hours
earlier from my mothers dressing table, my untrained lungs
heavy under the onslaught; my mind performing clumsy
back flips.

This adopted garden has now become my haven, from the impending
duties yet to lay their burden, I see them crawl slowly over the
horizon, their size increasing, till Iím prepared to grip with both
hands, pull the dust covered carpet from beneath their feet.

And to now watch them rise like dust clouds that settle with ease, the
ultimate achievement, proof that the promises from elders were
true, and not the fabricated illusion I once heard in whispers.


The tourists

As the dogs with unclipped claws climb the soot stained walls,
and the sun sets on each cracked window pane, their little excursion
begins.

The first attraction: a rotting, rusted shopping trolley, which starts
their cameras flashing, arousing the resting teens stooped in doorways,
whose fingers Idly play with triggers.

The next: the yet to be stolen washing hanging in dutiful lines,
mystical little eyes that peep from the corner of duvets. Intruding on
this make shift hide and seek, they walk forward with tentative footsteps.

Along the greying balconyís they continue soaking up the sights, sights that make
the ones trapped there beg for blindness, and once documented they recite back
to the wide eyed exclusive crowds, who sit and smile on in wonder.


Winter on the lines

I once again stepped under that mural coated railway
bridge, scanned the soul etched walls that seemed to
mimic the purity of the ice and snow that frames itís entrance.

Wrapped from head to toe, I perch myself on the
broken wire fence that now serves as my seat and view
point, surrounded by the cigarette ends hanging in spider webs,

the rusty, crushed beer cans strewn around the ice clumps
and mud filled snow piles. I roll the first joint from the sack,
cower away from the occasional passing dog walker.

It's then that the carriage dotted with empty void faces passes over
the hissing lines, as I leave my mark as ever in ink, on the
nearest space available,

The glistening painted walls reflect like broken glass, the
reflections a reminder of this narrowing scene, fragmented
into countless images, retelling the same old story.


The morning standard

Creeping down the carpeted stair well
with tentative foot steps, like those Christmas
mornings during the first decade.

Past the plates left out in slipping piles, caked
In leftovers that seem to smile meekly, leaving
their trails of crusts and tomatoes.

The cracked window, now my third in four years
serves up the same perpetual view, offering only
a slight change of location.

The rain glistened roof tiles and shattered bus stops
echo the old unwanted truths I tried with little dignity
to ignore, as my guard again drops slowly to one Knee.









© 2004-2010 Underground Voices