Scribblings -Silvering up


Silvering Up


Arms bent round bars and bucket,

the knot in his bandanna scrapes his skull

the same way wind stings his skin,

silver chafes his chest.


At night he coughs up blobs of mercury.


It never goes, that hiss of static in his blood,

even the residual shivers of electric

and crackle of cables

long after the current’s shut off


still creep into his bones.

His skin is stained with silver,

the same that crosses his palm

at the end of each week, keeps the brush


in his grip and his legs swinging.

He looks down the field at ranks of robots

slimed with snails

trailing nitrate along caustic limbs.


He’s standing in a steel field spitting static.


The M62 rises and swells,

veins of traffic humming in heat

or fizzing through rain

past a fist of cooling towers.


Ferrybridge sticks two fingers up

to another contract, a file of pylons striding

across the next field, arms open.


Wakes shivering, chewing silvered fingers.



Piece of piss

as long as you don’t mind feeling

your lungs tighter than a gnat’s arse,

or blistering your skin if you pratt about,

losing the plot seventy foot up.


And when you’ve done for the day

you can sling your overalls

in a corner, go buy beer,

get pissed and punch someone,

feel the power pulse through your fingers.






Pylon images taken by me today at Beacon Hill tumulus, Calderdale, West Yorkshire.


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