Far From Lion City
To Father, Mother was a fancy,
a drink of water for a parched man.
She was beautiful no doubt there
exotic too for a lad from Antrim
stationed in fifties Singapore.
He wasn’t ready for the world
to come into the rest of his life,
But when he demobbed he had a wife.
To hear her speak now, accented
with the heavy air of the glens
she only hints at the other side
of the world. I caught her once
looking through photographs, fingers
touching her mother’s face, trying
to see if the lines still matched up.
The Last Croft
Up here we work far enough away to not hear
But close enough to see each other.
This soil is a fickle mistress but a lover knows
when to scatter the flattering seed.
The lowland suits, city squired words
come and go both yes and no,
as long as kings want to be kings
it doesn’t matter where they rule from;
our landscape will be tilled as it always was,
pushed but not pushed over by the wind.
Mouth of the Ford
The tour bus rumbles down Castle street,
the ground beneath us calls out in the tongue
of the Farset river, stammered by stone.
High street paved over the forgotten quaysides,
where the merchants first traded the city’s name,
the world was in reach on the stretching sea.
The Albert clock is stabilised now but is still slightly
off a clear vertical. Built on reclaimed land, listing
from the measurable truth one foot at a time.
Bridges are thrown up one on top of the other,
each generation’s ante seen in the engineering,
the reuse of materials to join the unmoving banks.
Samson and Goliath hang questions in the air
in a conversation stalled in awe; the refrain
is that of the sweat riveted dock days,
sending the world the leviathans of their labours,
Oceanic, Britannic, Celtic…this a city known by
its balancing act on ever moving currents.
Glen Wilson lives in Portadown, Co Armagh with his wife Rhonda and children Sian and Cain. He has been widely published having work in The Honest Ulsterman, Foliate Oak, Iota, Southword and The Incubator Journal amongst others. In 2014 he won the Poetry Space competition and was shortlisted for the Wasafiri New Writing Prize. He was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2016. He is currently working on his first collection of poetry. Find him on Twitter @glenhswilson.