‘Five Unusual Things’ by Kathy Pimlott

Five Unusual Things

You open the quarter-lights, get out of the car.
‘Five minutes’ you say ‘and while I’m gone,

look for five unusual things’. And I’m alone
on a back street of workshops and offices.

No-one appears. There are no balloons,
no burglaries. Nothing disturbs the street.

Two thirds up the warehouse wall
the brick course swivels ninety degrees,

three fanciful rows and then back
to a sensible horizontal.

I breathe on the window, draw a face
that fades with the clearing mist,

breathe again and it reappears.
Years later, when you’ve been gone forever,

seeing a sign for invisible menders,
I say for you, ‘you don’t see many of those.’
 
(published in The North, Dec 2014)
 
 
 
Kathy Pimlott grew up in Nottingham but has lived in London for the last forty years, most of that time in Seven Dials, where she manages public realm projects. Her poems have appeared in magazines, anthologies and on-line and her pamphlet, Goose Fair Night (Emma Press), is due out in March 2016. She was one of the Poetry Trust’s 2015 Aldeburgh Eight.

And Other Poems is taking a short break

And Other Poems will be back on 17th November.

bags packed for Aldeburgh

I’ll be at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival (hope to see some of you there!) and then on retreat with the Aldeburgh Eight Advanced Seminar.

Thanks and best wishes

Josephine

‘Mal’ by Anita Pati

Mal

Them dogs won’t touch us three.
On Pendle Hill, no wind can whip us,
no brack of clouds from Chorley pall us.

Look. Dogs here are bogbounce happy,
kiddies snuffing balls and whatnot near Malkin,
families tripping from the corrugated towns.

They skirl around me, my own dog Whistler:
springer spaniels, border collies,
Sunday walkers flush-cheeked fed.

Proud marchers in their slimy wellies,
clodding soft black puddings underfoot.
We’re all white sons, Joe, my white son.

But they’re checking out my army kecks,
peering at the tail prickling stiff
and scared between Whistler’s legs –

a chastise stick pointing at me, malefick, like
it’s my fault I smack them. But both muck around.
I’ll bat painted witches when they shrink from my hands.

I’ll rag Joe’s mum till her mess washes off in Bowland drizzle.
These valleys, the shutdown towns: Nelson, Bacup,
their streetlights slag us slant like toothless whores.

Those dark moors wither when we’re near,
their split mills fallen now warp foreign
blackamoors in Burnley, Blackburn, Padiham.

I’ll flick them all: cotton grass under my thumb,
their spirits sporing across the Pennines
floating to a halt at my dog’s mangy jaws.
 
(first published in Poetry London , Summer 2014)
 
 
Anita Pati lives and works in London. She has been a Jerwood/Arvon mentee and won the Wasafiri Prize for Poetry in 2013. Her poems have appeared in various magazines and anthologies and she has been selected for the 2015 Aldeburgh Eight Advanced Seminar.