PAT AND GAVIN AND BOB

Pat says that if she could
she'd be one of those gawking
at the storms, watching the sea
crash over railings and piers,
getting her feet wet, her nose in
where it isn't wanted. Better
than working in the canteen
anyway and she's not wrong:
work's the last place I want to be.

Gavin said he doesn't get how
squiggles on the page can be
a poem. I don't understand why
it worries him so much, told him
to give it context: find out about
sound poetry and performance art,
put a toe into the water and stop
worrying about wet feet. Poetry
can be so much more than a dip

into words or water under the bridge.
Robert looked a bit askance, Greg
didn't really give a shit, others
shrugged it off; Cobbing's not until
week six. I watch the words crash
into each other on the page, splash
over young minds in confusion. Why
can't they simply wonder and delight
at the waves, answer the siren's song?

   Rupert M Loydell 2016




WORD POOL
[for Rupert]

He is not a prophet or a magician or even a
shyster, so there is no divining of water. It is
already there, a large pool full of liquid words
that he lifeguards. As his young swimmers
dip in toes the ripples suddenly distort so the
translucence becomes opaque - and it startles
as well as scares, these drylanders not quite ready
to accept how meaning will float to the surface
if you relax fully, still so many lengths and lengths
away from walking on this skin to read its
metaphors. Many will not wade, feet on the even
solidly found, surroundings too murky for their
goggle-less eyes; there are no inflatables or other
buoyant words that will help the drowning to rise.

     Mike Ferguson 2016