Thursday, 14 April 2011

The King of Nab Hill (a stanza stones poem)

'Every time I think that I'm getting old,
and gradually going to the grave,
something else happens'
(Elvis Presley)

There being a limit to the places
a supposed-to-be dead King of rock and roll
can visit, the grey-squirrel quiffed old man
slows the conspicuous pink caddie
to a purr by the beckoning stile.

A fumble of arthritic fingers
and walking frame, shades donned, trademark point
salute delivered to the aged stranger
in the wing mirror and the obscure
mission can commence its shuffling passage.

A laboured groping and the stile
(his latest groupie) is straddled, conquered,
blue suedes settle on the soft sponge of peet.
Immigrant at the threshold of green dusk
looks up, past the grass twitching with laughter,

to the crest sprinkled with turbines - sentinels
perpetually rolling their white, blind eyes.
A struggle up the brittle bracken, left hand
shaking, pelvis no longer under control,
greens and browns underfoot in cataract

permutation - an unreadable hieroglyph.
The journey seems as long as a Vegas bar tab
but the crown welcomes with the adulation
of a crowd of curlews. Wind pushes
with the virulence of an ex-wife
falsifying his hair into a fin.

Pulled deeper into the stiff rhinestoned collar
a shimmy stuttered to the shelter
of a half –fallen cairn, the weary frame
is lowered onto the sun-bleached lychen.
Hunger is found in the empty pupil

of a lone sheep, for this figure who charmed
everything except the vast nocturnal.
No longer a king, a prince, or a knave
but a child blinking myopically into
the emptiness of wild sounds
from the limitless hilltop.