The Civil War
A church clock static on the midday chime:
the valley breathless like a desert bowl:
a boy shy in the lane in a too-big suit.
My brain no longer resists this stratagem,
but lolls instead in the meadow of its crime.
Off-shore the mackerel, blank in a huge shoal,
are the reasons my mind’s land is destitute.
Under the harbour’s calm I cannot see them.
Vertically the cloud builds over a parkland lime
which hides the idea of Charles I in its giant bole.
The cloud is the vision of republicans. Absolute
blue surrounds that shifting diadem.
'The Civil War' was first published in the now-defunct Avocado [small lit. magazine associated with Coventry-based Heaventree Press; not necessarily defunct, but certainly 'resting' at the moment. Jane.].
Tony Williams's first full collection The Corner of Arundel Lane and Charles Street will be published by Salt Publishing in the summer. He lives in Sheffield, and works as a graphic designer and as a lecturer for the Open University and Salford University. His blog is aye-lass.blogspot.com.