Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Smethwick Fire

Chinese lantern floats and stops
at detritus peak till smoke funnels up
and out brown grey from the plant.

Later at City Hospital some plumes still
showing up thinner from Aberdeen St.

Babyfather with mirror sunglasses
pours out slow Dragon Stout libation
on tarmac where it won't sink in.

Upaways a kid does a wide arc skid
on scratched up bike oblivious and young
wiry in careful quiet. He is too small.


  1. You must be referring to this particular fire, WB. It's funny how they blame it on the lanterns. If I were them I would do something about the hundreds of bales of plastic awaiting recycling and the tons of garbage that took fire at the plant, not the lanterns.
    He is too small. That's a great line to end this poem.

  2. That's the one. Took place less than a mile from where I live. There are questions about the processing plant. It's in a densely populated area.

    You know, Marie, I hadn't meant to post this. I only realised it had gone out when your name came up on the email. Glad you liked that last line.

  3. Drawing out the lines to a full end-stopped roundness has its advantages, there is a sense of the proper generosity of poetry in that. Not that any syllable is ever wasted. Also like that you've stepped off the bus to allow in the occasional... occasion.

    Both those things could be seen as a retreat to the pre-avant, I suppose; still I'm made to feel at home in the poem. That I do like.

    And too, anything that stops anyone vending or purchasing trash can't but be viewed as progressive.

    (But oh, the Evening Standard side link stories. Fox attacks man, woman and cat in their London home.)

  4. Glad you feel at home here, Tom. A very Brummagen poem, this one. Writing, I took a breath in and the thing contracted, on breathing out it grew full again. A plain, more direct approach seemed right. Something near to telling a story.

    There's been a bit of a thing for fox attacks in the press for a year or so. Always seems to happen in London. The Standard does like to make people fearful from time to time; a touch of the Daily Mail about it.

  5. Oh, Blogger has a mind of its own, you know. In this case I'm glad it does!