Brighton Clock Tower, Redecorated, Poetry by Anna Tizard

Genres: angry, cocky, funny, friendship and philosophical.

Brighton Clock Tower, Redecorated
by Anna Tizard

I covered the clock tower with clocks and clicking watches
I did it for her.

Her mind is not unkind but she lives in space-place
outside of time.
It means she’s always late
which for we who wait is obviously
not great.

She’s embarrassed for other things, ties her shawls up in pins
for giving the “wrong” excuses,
but really it’s in her lies where lies
the abuses.

So I gather all her friends around the clock tower’s stuck up finger
which I’ve already covered in putty, perfectly nutty
– it actually is, with a spade-load of peanut butter added
to make it extra

And as the sun drops low ’til it skims the horizon
the coating glints, really slick
and there’s a rubber thump-punch as over-arm
and under-arm and doggy-ball-throwers flick
the catapulted watches and clocks which land and sink
and stick.

Thumbed elastic bands are pulled back,
so more clocks stack up in the tack
with a whack,
never slack,
though they ooze just an inch or so, nearly wedged, ever quite

There’s a slight glutinous slide like weights in warm marzipan,
or rubber gently melted (unless you’ve ever smelt it).

And the friends fall silent in their watchful surmise.
Was it the lies
that made them come here and pelt their protest at the
un-prompt, protracted impertinence of their pal?

“Lordy, how’re you going to scrape that off?” says a passing janitor.
“There’s a nice bit of time-keeping” – someone thinks they’re really clever.
“But you left out last Tuesday, forever and never ever.”
“What’s the point in all this time-keeping when time always eludes us?”
“But really that’s the point!” all the friends shout back. “She always screws us –
and it goes, and it goes, and it goes.”

Clocks roll and slide like giant mechanical bugs
creeping their hesitant way down the sides
and a dozen sighs decide.

She arrives, bundled and embarrassed
tottering on those run-for-nothing shoes.
Flushed and altogether shushed
a hand trembles in front of her lips
but it’s not just her hand, it’s all of her that quivers.

A giggle builds bigger and tingles tangles about her feet
as if she’s tripping over shingles,
trying to pinch it back.

She cannot.
No-one can.

Soon all of Brighton is buckling with the chuckling
until they’re bruised, bent and utterly unwise
about the time-trapped confines and the ties of their own lives.
For today nothing is real, it’s only the past that we make fester
and each time we put it behind us it only gets better.
– You laugh at this, you may as well have met her.

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