I entered this into the Manchester Cathedral Poetry Competition (but didn’t win!)
He sits there on the edge, skin gnarled and worn,
wrapped in a wrinkled overcoat – a size
too big – to keep the wind at bay. His gaze
takes in the water as the passers by
pass by. They come and go, he does not mourn
for those no longer seen by knotted eyes.
He used to set the Autumn sky ablaze
but he cannot remember how, or why.
A crow has the temerity to land.
I watch him as he deftly shrugs it off,
displaying his contempt with an irate
harrumph as the wind picks up, blowing in
a further feathered throng, filling the land-
scape like a fall of soot and snow. They scoff,
cackle and caw, their chorus swells, abates
as his reluctant shade stifles their din.
He stands there quivering, rooted to the spot.
After all these years, unnumbered days
of keeping watch amidst the wild and bleak,
he knows his place in the grand scheme of Things.
He is content now, youth’s longings forgot-
ten, no more need for flamboyant displays
just quiet pride. Leaves rustle, branches creak
as every fibre of his being sings
his maker’s praise.
(c) Rich Clarkson 2017