Friday, May 07, 2010


Gardening (detail)  Martin Locock acrylic on board C 2010

She stoops to place fresh
Flowers on the gravel square
And removes browned blooms

Her work done, she stands
Her eyes cloud as she reads the
Simple inscription

Soon she'll rejoin him
She weaves away through thickets
Of marble headstones


The Skeleton Coast

Skeleton Coast by Martin Locock acrylic on board (C) 2010

Breakers pound the beach
Editing the sea's graffiti
Rewriting lines in the sand

Bald dunes, too arid to retain
A hairline of grass
Inch towards  the interior

The wind howls around
Bleached whale bones

I review my options
East and west - impassable
North and south -prospects unpromising
Offering no hint of change

Yet staying would be worse -
I'd face the same choice tomorrow
But would be tireder, weaker

I stand up, start to to walk,
My hollow footprints smoothed
By the shore's impatient hand



Long years at this bench
Have I worked, under
The quick and critical eye
Of my master

Saint's days brought
No rest to me
While other 'prentice-lads
Whooped and frolicked
In the streets
I kept to my task

Each new skill was practised,
Honed, on off-cuts, waste,
Until I was deemed worthy
Of the prime material

My back is bent,
Shoulders drooped, eyes sore
From so much hunched labour

The grizzled master grows old;
His guild and trade will soon be mine;
I will be master in his place.