Show Your Bones

Writing poetry onto umbrellas 

Is easy to do: words in spirals, shapes and swirls. 

Written by pen, indelible, like art itself. 

In pubs and cafes around the cities North and South, 

collecting umbrellas from establishments, 

gains curiosity among the staff, 

and for a moment something new, 

breaks into the everyday. 

Brollies left in squares and street corners 

as a silent, secret, exchange 

the mystery of where, when and how. 

The touring is the purest joy really: 

travel as creation 

the bleary eyes in a Glasgow bus centre at 4AM 

or the walk into Edinburgh as the sun flung itself into the sky 

The Paddy’s Day entrourage the pissed up punters of Birmingham pubs 

The long, long journeys so full of the crackle of joy the mundane uplifted 

or the trip back to the alma mater, the umbrella laid outside the faculty 

all done with love, but also a mind full of both the beauty and the folly 

of a journey that means more to me 

but maybe something to those who swept up the umbrellas 

without a name or way to reply. 

Just another strange statement, among many 

That somehow sum up, just what it is, 

to be us. 


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