Frances Leviston

Two Poems


All along the skyline, cranes
quiet above rooftops,
conspicuous as knives dropped
vertically into carpet,

folded ironing-board-upright
or set at right-
angles, corner brackets
bolting the sky to the ground.

They dangle claws on chains,
unbaited hooks
balanced by elevated breeze-blocks,
into the unfinished town,

fishing a pond
that hasn’t been stocked.
Their paint-work’s bright as macs
in rain, or the mops and pans

a woman once persuaded me to sell
door to door,
describing in the air
of her living room a pyramid,

most mysterious
of all mysterious extancies, her red
nail climbing floors
to the vertex, where it stood,

or floated,
as she effortlessly said
“in no time at all
you’ll have a lifestyle just like mine…”

Through the cranes’
necks the cloudburst rings,
across the clad
stone hotel still missing

its penthouse, its punchline,
bucketing down
like the old cartoon
where a skeleton drinks champagne.


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