Stephen Brock: ‘Objects’ and ‘Aged Parchment of Dawn’


Aged Parchment of Dawn

Red and yellow bins scattered
like Lego blocks of morning
some giant has stepped on.
A burst of rain clouds clears
my vision like coffee. A man
with a question mark for hair
stands at the side of the road
perplexed. A chimney on the horizon
practises its calligraphy on the aged
parchment of dawn. A metaphor
for something—an ambulance
on a hoist behind a plate-glass window.
And my mind crumbles in the stammer
of traffic. Indicators blink in unison
a kind of language in the cold
of morning. Parking at the Terrace
on Hindley gives the feeling
of being on holiday. I walk back
through the damaged glamour
of a 1980s Moroccan-style façade
in the empty cinema complex
of my youth. Meanwhile in the office
monstrous faces assemble on Zoom.

Stephen Brock



A house empties its contents
onto the street, a sad parade
of couches, furniture, bedding
even a coffee machine sitting
atop. Passers-by pick at the pile
and by days end it’s reduced.

It reminds me of an early morning
dialogue where I carted out
the junk of an uneventful life
and left it on the sidewalk
of an archived chat history.

In my father’s home I find
a small, old suitcase labelled Poetry.
I lift it down from the shelf
and place it on the floor
where it remains unopened.

I haven’t slept for weeks.
A stranger rearranges
the furniture of my mind.
Finds a portrait there
and hangs it for all to see.

Stephen Brock

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