Trigons

Coda

6.

    Icari...
                cacophonous and fearful as the lights in air
    and tracers flash-lit wing and tail of aircraft 
    that Apollo's maker cast in upward parabolic fall & downward
    pilot splayed and child's work his wreck
    I walked in '70 the ruined fields above Diana's house the B-17s
    departed Hacheston not for German targets but forever
    F-16s were flying then from Bent-
    waters       river if you trust the scratchings on the nave of
    Parham church had been a source of navigable reaches ships of
    little draft came all the way from Normandy past
    Orford Slaughden Iken down the stream behind her house that 
    flows into a pipe below a petrol station now
    that Aldeburgh programs thanked the US Air Force which had
    modified its flight plans and reconnaissance
    all for the première of 14 Shostakovich with a dodman on
    the Eastern point of  Southwold and the 
    Deben called Adurnus by the Latins on the Alde
    all that nearly forty years ago and now a greybeard and
    his wife pull up beside the village hall in
    Hacheston        waist-high grass and no one come to
    shore up crumbling walls it's just
                                                the sort of place you...

    & especially on a cold Christmas when it still was inhabited
    by villagers who brought in the harvest
    had the local accent
    gave me tea and scones beside the wood fires in cottages
    frozen to the beams in the OPEC embargo     meant
    you'd light your house with candles when electricity 
    was cut by Ipswitch station     only two of us were out that 
    morning with a low fog and stiff  wind off the sea
    Mrs Orford pushing on her creaky pram all full of firewood
    I knew she'd say see my pretty baby! village idiot for sure
    my daughters three and five were safe inside their mother's
    childhood home          gray smoke from chimney
    curling in the sky and through a window of the last house
    along the street they call The Street I saw an old woman
    cutting up the veg and dropping carrots onions greens
    into a pot while in the next room behind her was an even
    older man who played the violin         he stopped 
    and looked out at me while I was looking in       waved
    his bow and started up again
    I turned my collar up & walked into the wind           I was

←Back Next→.


F-16s. A US multi-role fighter aircraft that first came into service in 1976.


Bentwaters. Airfield used by the US Air Force during the Cold War from 1951-94.


14 Shostakovich. Shostakovich's 14th Symphony is dedicated to Benjamin Britten and was given its UK première at Aldeburgh in 1970.


Southwold. A small town on the north-east coast of Suffol, about 29 miles north-east of Ipswich.


OPEC embargo. In October 1973 all the Arabic Petroleum Exporting Countries imposed an oil embargo on sales to the West as a protest against the US supplying arms to Israel during the Yom Kippur war. This caused shortages and powercuts in the UK through the winter of 1973/4. The embargo was lifted in March 1974.


Morning with a low fog. This latter part of 6 incorpoates almost all of Early Evening Walk, Suffolk, Christmas 1973. (p 189 JM's Collected Shorter Poems Vol 2).

comments powered by Disqus