Peter Hughes



a load of gutted loft insulation
stirs on the front lawn

an airy cake of yellow web & dust

we & the strange house
breathe in slight differences
through late winter nights
that resound to little adaptations
& imagined trespasses

the space above has increased

the January morning is a shallow basket
left by the dustbin
full of snow & brilliant tracks


the chalk stratum glows
between thunder & carrstone

a low tide behind
the sea wind come to life


a chimney unblocked
after 20 years

voices return
from undressed walls

it dawns on us
the oceanic surge through
seconds of disrupted grammar
the sea wielding sun
to open windows


shifting whispers of sky in the hearth
taste of stale air in cupboards

relative absence of paranoia


sticks of rot & woodworm
feed the reopened hearth

ease this decayed air out of the house &
mouth into the local star gale


the winds walking
waves on the sea

through the carpet
right to the fire

on the horizon
a white citadel


February quarter light & dawn smell
Rustin's Pure Turpentine
150 mil of titanium white
the last smear of indigo
breadcrumbs & linseed oil

the ache of the familiar versus
the ache of the unknown

the day's first oystercatcher lands
facing east


mussel beds sunk under the storm
top of the world whipped headless black

noise as of boxes being shifted
way below or above

hair-dark wind


trudging back off the low-tide mussel beds
a muddy Tesco bag full of late sun
& two pints of living shells

the making tide & blue angels
go about their business as usual

you can walk here so far into the sea
that when you turn around
the land appears
like someone else's and your own idea