Two Poems – Ivor Daniel

On a hierarchy of vulnerability

writing at night
the world is global

I come down
at 5am
when the birds are claiming
the hour
the garden
the woods
the rain
the Earth.

Let them have it
I think.
Perhaps we had our turn.

Before that
I had lain in bed
listening to
the 5 Live all night phone-in.
Now audibly resembling
the Samaritans
live on air.

That’s how much vulnerability is out there.

I remember
at the autism school.
There was vulnerability
In 12 hour shifts for staff    and   life    for the students.

I wonder how they are doing now
in all this?

They were locked down since time.

And pondering on
(I really should start writing soon)

I wonder if there is a hierarchy of vulnerability?

An iceberg an Eiger a Maslow’s Triangle of pain?

I listen to the birds and rain.

Summer work

on a trawler out of Conway.
Diesel past ripe smells
of salt-dry lobster pots
on harbour walls. To the
heave of seas.

Primary memory –
steeled dogfish
bending my teenage forearms
back and forth
with sandpaper skin.

Two hours on duty
two hours off
around the clock
we left ashore.

The butties, the banter,
Players No 6 with PG Tips.

Sea dog tales of marriages resumed
on each return to shore.
The earth still moving like the sea.

Ivor worked as a street-based youth worker, and then as a team manager in the youth service. He lives in Gloucestershire, England, where he now does sessional English tutoring. His poems have appeared in A Spray of Hope (an anthology of pandemic poetry published by Liverpool University), wildfire words (the ezine of Cheltenham Poetry Festival), Steel Jackdaw Magazine, Writeresque Magazine, iamb ~ wave seven, and Fevers of the Mind. Twitter: @IvorDaniel

Art Banner: Approaching Midnight, an image by Robert Frede Kenter (c) 2022. Twitter: @frede_kenter

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