Curtains – Julian Dobson

Curtains

Come over, William, you should take a gander
at my curtains. Check out their thinning
slightly off the centre; the way they fail
to join up in the middle; their boring grey-green
pattern even duller since they’ve hung there
nigh on twenty years. I know your magic

with the fabric. I’ve seen your curling leaves,
unfurling flowers, your cheeky strawberry thief.
I’ve seen the prices they command. So much
for socialism: I’ve been priced out. But
I can do appreciation. So, comrade – if I may –
could you pop over, sample my sloe gin, bring

some news from nowhere? I’m thinking you can help,
because I want to make this room a place
of wonder. Something a visitor might see
and be transported, but not envious. Stirring
like a banner, but more subtle. Earthier, more rooted.
I’m imagining borlotti beans. Let them inspire you.

 

Julian Dobson lives in Sheffield. His poems have appeared in publications including Magma, Under the Radar, and Acumen, and on a bus in Guernsey.

The making of gritstone – Julian Dobson

The making of gritstone

What is this rock but sand? Stuff
that escapes from fingers, is only held
in handfuls. See it shift as slow tides
wash and swish through centuries.

Get a grip. You try. Wet, it clods, then
crumbles. Dry, it runs as water.
Leave it be. Let it rest, let weight
of earth compress it. Wait.

Return. Inland, it rises, scarps, nudges
you to edges. A place to stand. Its surface
clings your palms, your toes, your elbows
feel its friction. Find a fold, a kink,

a space to claw at. The certainty
of weathered sediment, of patience.
Trust the way it scours and scores
the skin: your hold, your faith, your rock.

 

Julian Dobson lives in Sheffield. His poems have appeared in publications including Magma, Under the Radar, and Acumen, and on a bus in Guernsey.

Symptoms of a worn ball bearing – Julian Dobson

Symptoms of a worn ball bearing

Noise is a classic sign. Here are some indicators
of worn bearings or other wheel-end damage:

Snapping, clicking, popping. Grinding while in motion.
Knocking, clunking. Humming, rumbling, growling.
Uneven wear. Abnormal side pull. Shudder.

That jolt. It’s when we’re broken, dried,
you pay attention. How we lump into your life,
become a constant source of irritation.

You forget smooth-rolling years. Forget our steel.
How we carried you for miles.

 

Julian Dobson lives in Sheffield. His poems have appeared in publications including Magma, Under the Radar, and Acumen, and on a bus in Guernsey.