Webb, Andrew

An Indian Summer

The time light from a September sun ­ slipping
at the perfect angle down a cloud-free sky ­
hit the concave side of the shaving mirror
you happened that morning to leave nearer
than usual to the warped glass of your high,
South-facing bathroom window, its face tipping

the concentration of an Indian summertime
onto the cotton threads of a wooden blind,
the fire had you talking, not of cheated fate,
but of a remembered key: the counterweight
that balanced the scales and brought to mind
patterns of chance survived for as long as a lifetime.

Flakes of Paint

In the sunshine that flooded the estate
after rain, the flakes of paint that peeled
from the bus shelter hoarding – never too late

for such and such – were briefly large and rich
and sodden with light, as if the present time
were not raw material for a sales pitch

- some passing moment to make the most of -
but insurgent, unpredictable, bold,
like that big cat driven to raid the edge of

the encroaching estate, then slip away.

The Circus Act

With each leap loading onto the wooden bar
force that stressed and flexed its timber
to a point of tension that promised to spring her
impossibly high, the performer eclipsed the pair

who took her weight, the crooks of their necks
the bar’s wedge, their bodies a frame that tilted
and righted to meet and contain her perfected
landings, their slickness at odds with the looks

they shot from one to the other: anxious
as if the show might in a moment fall apart
despite the memory and rigour of their practice,
the ad-hoc adjustments to get them this far.

 

Featured Poet: Andrew Webb

Andrew Webb grew up in Midsomer Norton, Somerset. He studied at Oxford University and is now working for an MA in English at Queen’s University, Belfast.