a poem from quite a few years ago, inspired by the sight of an aged driver advancing carefully along a motorway, a long, irate tailback in his wake
Witchman, wrapped around leather,
staring through glass,
blasted eyes, bloodshot translucent skin.
Fingers like knots of gristle and rock,
stuck in time, modernity raging at his back,
hook nose and jagged chin locked in.
The compass, North Star, unflinching,
inching down the road to stay alive,
to fend off Death, to avoid the wreath,
the sympathy, the pity, the care.
Leave him in peace, he’s fine, he’s almost there.
He winds around another interminable bend –
is this the end?
Dry, wretched skin scored by white stubble,
wheezing breath, battered ears,
he cannot hear their horned fears.
He thinks of streams and hills,
ridges and lipstick, cigarettes and tea,
bales of hay, horseflies and cream.
The wind howls through him like an old wall.
He purses his papery lips,
looks further down the road,
and is beyond weeping.