The Thinking Poet



Sulky, moping days these.

The sun has taken leave of absence

Giving no forwarding address.

I groan at the prospect under slate-grey skies.


Slate-grey sky, slate-grey stone; like attracts like.

I reach for the fossil on my desk

Found last summer on a rock-strewn beach.

When time outstays its welcome, as now,

I take the flake and turn it under light.

It has a kind of magic gained through years,

Imprinted when primeval mud gave mould.


Diamante-sparkling, this grizzled grave contains a five-pronged foot-print splayed,

An ammonite, Roman helmet-shaped,

And a whitened worm, its corrugated contour like an apple grub

Curled, maybe chewing when the death-ooze flowed.

Once these signatures signified life,

Movement under the sun

Before their sudden sentence was begun.


Beneath this heaped-up porridge sky,

An unappetizing diet for days,

I gaze in pity at the cephalopod

Once frisking through warm waters by its tentacled head

Enjoying carefree freedom in the light.

Then trapped a hundred and fifty mega-years.

Your reprieve of light comes late, much too late.


I sit through this simulated night

Waiting for the coming of the light,

Hoping that a knight in shining mail,

Might free me from this slate-grey fossil gaol.