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Extracts from Philip Ruthen's Jetty View Holding


London Bridge, then home

too light a kiss - 
touch must be definite - 
let go the self that is held back irrepressible 
the present is not a time to be felt teasing 
it is a season for the dance of abandonment.

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Irene, burn the speed trap


tie, block and tackle
the corn grains’ milling coarse,
then cloak me with
the should have beens
and, Steve McQueen is also, gone.

Mary, see your garden’s grown
this sedimentary pick, discard, free
rock-rabbits have another name
and are related,
sturdy anchor beds
collide; now they farm alpacas,

first pride sketch stretches
to the back of numbers
when Dorset coast
was equatorial
the red moat desert

to where
the tide comes,
turn the fly-wheel, close the stone
fist the dust to leave your imprint

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Ballad from the no access only signing station

A ballad is my background
by the preternatural administrator
stationed by the no access only
signing station
and there is an ordinary
waiting room
that is always boarded up
because the hoardings are full
and the words have become full

Stops. To stand in the dust bowl
and listen to the lyrical verse
from contemporary centuries
tragically laughing a short walk
from governance
from the square mile
with no mile's end
bringing alive ink in an old quill
that is somewhere else
into speech
and infused into mime
for the Patron to appreciate reluctantly
even if the cobwebs' profusion
tells him that time has passed
without any realisation of full

Stops. For a company of players are left
to recite
lost voices and movements of history’s music
to fourteen stations surrounded by debris
until its removal
halts human resources sinking to quicksand,
to discover
the footprints and footnotes of people
held back
from approaching
an open gate
the subject
of given life rhythm
in free verse living beyond us
and with us.
The window bars fall away.


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