Christopher Hopkins was born and raised in Neath, South Wales, surrounded by machines and mountains, until he moved to Oxford in his early twenties. He currently resides in Canterbury and works for the NHS. Christopher has had poems published in Rust & Moth, The Journal, Harbinger Asylum, Anti-Heroin Chic, Tuck Magazine, Dissident Voice magazine, Duane's PoeTree and the online literary journal 1947. Two of his early e-book pamphlets "Imagination is my Gun" and "Exit From a Moving Car" are available on Amazon.
The shadows of street lights swing with the commute.
Flared sienna yellow,
between the black colours pooling.
Over the stopping lines,
ode of joys to an empty parking space,
the lucent light of chiller aisles,
to our private lives behind closed doors,
us winter moths of January,
head off the frantic way,
where a wolf moon is seen,
above the forest walls.
Where desire lines are turning black,
upon the tip jar coverings.
Up the skelters' of ivy sheen,
to the electric black of the oak trees bare,
that staving hunter’s eye stares the twilight dying.
Diesel trains pull into sunken towns.
Us, all tinned meat unloading,
With a hurried pace for such grazing stock,
along the flagstone’s numbered stops.
onto our the forest tracks,
with a thug embrace of a gale force warning.
To blow us home,
what ever the shape our sails may be.
Cathedrals of living,
or the room where your freedoms be.
Away from the storms they gave names to at this time of year.
News Report of Trawlerman Lost
It was a welcome sight,
only known to them.
Hooker and line.
The lights of the pub and the quay side chapel,
shine out to the dark,
where the salt grey reaches.
Those horizon sat stars,
guiding the hearts back home.
To the hillside fortresses of family arms.
that home-come relief,
is cold at the sight of these pricks of light.
Upon the shoreline kindred rally,
on a word of worry breaking.
The silence drowns the pitching surf,
their views so still like drift wood rooted,
in their stew the harrow asking,
‘Whose prayers have been forgotten?’
The answer comes on the cert of bobs,
a steamily slow course bow.
Its engine sounds clack out loud,
like the hooves of the pale horse calling.
‘Come quickly home,
come safely so’,
were the singing graces for the leaving crew.
Now whispering pleas in grasped amens,
‘Lord, don't leave their love forsaken'.
Then the halt of beat upon the mark.
Brunt knuckle white around the heart,
as the name is said,
so softly so.
Sorrow for the loss and a good man too.
And waves roll on that hallowed soul,
their wash of grief through the cockle shell floor,
the spindrift tears touched the lips,
and the taste was of a man’s last breath.
Through the calling hours of curtains closed,
the wake beers bought in lieu of flowers,
their prayers hands still clasped together,
when they're told,
with hand on heart,
'the voice of the Lord is upon the waters'.
Guilt in relief,
the end for others.
A sorrow on the hill
‘It's a place to go’.
Here, where nothing comes,
only the bread vans
and the ‘taker.
Men drink in the lounge,
while weigh-ins for the slimmer's club go on next door.
Cigarettes left their piss stains
on the celling tiles.
But no one’s looking up.
Into jars upon small brown tables,
the gaze lined instead.
The talk and laughs
some angered shouts,
it's a little more than drink talking,
from the dark torus of the room.
Some with a rasping chest behind each line.
A crackle in the laugh,
that becomes a man's sentence.
The velvet gleam of the billiard table,
is the brightest thing,
in the centre of the room,
like a slice of spring remembered.
Money only went down the hill,
stretched from lamp to the sea,
and it left them up there,
in their houses no one wants,
longing for someone to start singing a childhood song
on a Saturday night.
Someone is to blame,
but the blame falls wrong
and nothing gets done,
all knowing that history isn't enough these days,
to bay the slip of hope,
to stop the brewery locking its doors.
It was a place to go,
that place where nothing comes.
Ghosts of machinery
Ghosts of machines sit in the clouds unseen.
The giants’ backs outlined,
but their shadows don’t reach down
the hillside anymore.
The wildlife aren't scared off.
Making homes in the ruins of toil,
while the foxes eye the street foul,
through the splinters of the bus stop at the gates.
a paragraph on glossed note.
A common history,
a washed novelty,
for the trickle of heritage coins.
The snake pit of factory lights on the black canal
The kids eat.
and mother works harder,
Pride is not the sin.
Pride means worth.
Worth means love and a future.
No resignation from duty,
from the Monday morning of responsibilities.
This is for love.