Saturday, May 7, 2016

No Hiding Place by Mantz Yorke

No hiding from it.  That Sunday night
I had to ride the forty miles, reckoning
I’d outrun the storm grumbling up behind. 
Ambushed at half way, I pedalled on
along the streaming road, trying to ignore  
lightning cracking the dark above my head. 

Not like when, aged six, I dashed indoors
at the first strike, scrambled under a table
and cowered under dad’s copy of The Times;
nor, teenaged, hiding under the sheets,
face pressed into the pillow, drenched
in a sweat I’ve not experienced since. 

Today I’m a hermit crab in a metal shell
beside the Everglades’ sawgrass, watching
an inky bruise suffuse the sky.  A kris
slashes potassium-light once, twice, thrice,
before pelting rain degenerates a van Gogh
landscape of tan and indigo to dun and grey. 

On a high, I restart the car and travel on.

Mantz Yorke lives in Manchester, England. He trained as a metallurgist before becoming a science teacher and researcher. His poems have appeared in a number of print magazines, anthologies and e-magazines in the UK, Ireland, the US and Hong Kong.