For the boys with the frog this is it.
No one mostly, older girls sometimes
pass on the straggle of back lanes,
for the birds what they talk about.
This variety of August
is untroubled surfaces, fields
of barley at the elbow
and within a stroll, a starve
of waste ground fly-tippers rust
their ancient engines on.
A boulder of liver-spotted granite,
a thumbprint on the belly of a frog.
Boys who carry ruin in their pockets
are becoming other people.

Samphire in the copper pan,
a splendour of salmon.
He’s in traffic on the bridge
and this is years from then,
but cruelty is a time traveller.
It is paper, cotton, leather, doves,
the slope of Monte Carlo,
chanterelles, the Shangri-Las
the valley of the Rhône,
The Wichita Lineman
and its baritone guitar.
A knock at the door, she goes
and a one and a two and a
one two three four.

Credits

Directed by Matthew Thompson.

"Segue" by Stephen Sexton (Cheryl's Destinies, Penguin, 2021).