Sub-Zero

Photo by iOnix on Pexels.com

I am the talk of the village,

Hanging out undies in mid November

When the mountains are snow capped

And the wind is wheeling the whirly gig

In sub-zero blusters.

But when this morning turned up

With a tangerine sun spewed on roof tiles

And a sky split open like that last free day in March

I rummaged through mucky clothes,

Separating darks and lights.

And now they flip and flap, and high five the sky

Like primary coloured kites

In a sub-zero November sun.

I am the talk of the village

Because I’ve pegged out woollens too,

Rammed the lines in a slap-dash

Rush because the sun is at its height

And the shadows that lurk behind the trees

Will soon spill onto the porch.

And I know my laundry won’t dry in this sub-zero sunshine,

But will collect instead,

The wind that skims the

Heather trimmed mountain crags,

And spray from the thrashing river.

And only when the shadows come

And the wood smoke weaves

A waft into the wool, will I unclip those pegs,

Hang damp washing inside,

Out of sight, on the clothes horse instead

And remember the day

When villagers nattered in windows frames

And my knickers danced free.

EilidhGClark

South Street Arbroath

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Artist Laura Walker kindly allowed me to use this painting along side my poem. You can visit her site by clicking on the link if you want to see more of her work.

South Street Arbroath 

Every day is laundry day on South Street.

White cotton flat sheets, stone-washed jeans; yesterday’s pink and yellow striped knickers

Dip and duck like multi-coloured bunting.

 

Children climb up from the beach

Where the sand hems the grassy slope.  Plastic sandcastles filled with shells; razors

And limpets, purple mussels speckled with shingle, and a wee deid crab,

Protected inside a bleached Hula Hoop bag, Crumpled.

 

The children’s laughter rips through the flapping blankets as they zigzag,

dodging Mrs Campbell’s frilly knickers that joyride on the briny wind.

The postman waves.

He’s sinking useless junk mail through the rusty red letterboxes of

the fisherman’s cottages. Unashamed.

 

A peg pings and a denim leg  kicks the sky, snapping the wind as it buckles around a

red rope.

Heaven rests like burning oil on the ocean.

 

A wrinkled man with leather lugs sits outside number twenty-five,

His eyes a hazy mist of blue sea, and cataracts.

He picks up his thick wooden board, red with blood and guts,

A deid head of a deid haddock with deid

Eyes.  He wipes his knife clean on a Pizza Hut flyer.

©Eilidh G Clark

This poem was first published by Artist Moira Buchanan in her art exhibition ‘All Washed up’. You can follow Moira Buchanan on Facebook by clicking this link  or visit her website.