The daffodils I wish to give you
are growing nicely this year.
It would seem a pity to cut them,
even if their lovely yellow
would be enhanced by your blue jug.
A picture sent would bring you
almost the whole of those flowers.
Instead, these words send their spirit
and a hint of something else.
East of Almost Everywhere
Past the docks and out of town,
there were no stones to speak of –
only layers of Humber silt mixed
with grindings of Yorkshire rock.
Mudflats were part of the saltmarsh.
On a good day, the air did not roar
in our ears and it would not take long
to gather a carrier of samphire each.
The sea was out there somewhere,
but we never saw it. Grandpa knew
when the ebb would take the waves
and scheduled the day accordingly.
Private Bus Co.
We waited at the stop before the river.
After the bridge, our lane turned square,
narrowing between elevated hedgerows
and a slow curve untroubled by verges.
The morning bus paused at each of five
Main Streets on the back route into town.
Most seats were filled before we reached
the by-pass, its four swift lanes below us.
Some mornings, mist obscured the mist.
Our bus was packed, people had to stand.
We travelled through phantom villages,
concealed behind steamed-up windows.
For that last mile, the city had its turn
to shape the road, grown beyond a lane
but still meandering a safe distance away
from those less than stable river margins.
Oliver Comins lives and works in West London. After a pamphlet collection from The Mandeville Press and several with Templar Poetry, his first full collection, Oak Fish Island was published by Templar in 2018.