Deadlines Stephen Pain Poetry

local_library Deadlines

by Stephen Pain

Published in Issue No. 15 ~ August, 1998

A deadline is what
he used to see on
the Northumbrian
coastline, in among
the marine skipping rope
that stretched between
the mud and the sea,
where those creatures
had all but given up hope
of surviving, and they
now in their broken forms,
skipped the slaps of the
incoming tide, the gulls
who had wheeled and dealed
with the sky, now a bony
jigsaw, and the crabs with
expressions like nineteen fifties’
railway porters, only recognizable
by the odd claw,
the molluscs all perished,
scooped out by fate,
and in these morning peregrinations,
he felt somewhat at ease, contented,
as the cold breeze blew across his face,
Now in his forties, he sees
another deadline, one that
transports people from their
home to grey destinations
in the cities, as he holds the strap
in the train he watches the houses
blur into a sea of memories,
into the day he and his father
fished for whiting, the sun glanced
over the cliffs, and then into the
tomorrow, when the dingy is
pushed over by a swell, his
childhood drowning in the
entrance of a subway tunnel.

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Stephen Pain is an Anglo-American writer, born in London (1956) a stone's throw away from John Keats' house. He has had numerous poems published on the net. He currently lives in Japan.