Poetry from Steven Storrie

Weeds grow unchecked
Where young feet once played
Laces tucked in shoes
Beneath the light of summer sun
Out of date football jersey’s
Mix with gravel and smashed glass
Signalling the end of time
Cracks swallow memories whole
Burying first dates
The timorous holding of hands
Something great once stood here
On these barren lands
Where a city buzzed with action
Saw movies
Whiled away their days
The mall
Like youth itself
Succumbs to the passing of time
Both are empty husks of themselves now
It will soon be time
For the rats
To take

God damn
Phillips yells
The locker room
A cacophony of sound
You have to be some kind of sicko
To make a play like that
He slaps me on the back heartily
And the pain shoots through my bones
An hour later I’m still there
Holding my helmet
Standing in a towel
Though I’m long since dry
My beaten body looks pasty
Not enough tattoos
My hair and my face
Are just a little off
Not quite where
I’d like them to be
The others seem to be so cool
Have everything in place
Just so
They wear the right clothes
Have the perfect beard and tattoos
Are their best selves
All the time
My wounds howl in hot water
I know I won’t be making the team
Still, I can take a beating like no other
I can endure what no man ever could
That is something to be thankful for
I suppose.

A thalassophile is
One who loves the ocean
That word was taught to me by
someone who knows about these things
A kindred spirit
Little surfer girl
4pm on Santa Monica beach
Where Rocky raced Apollo in my youth
I sat on the crowded pier
James Brown
Or someone like him
Singing ‘Living in America’ as I stood
High above them all
Looking out at the sun hitting the coastline
And realising where I finally belonged
Then the noise just died away
Faded into the background
As if nobody else was here
Just me and the ocean
The waves gently lapping the shore
I now implicitly understood those Beach Boys records
The ones I had played in my youth
If I were to have gone right there and then
If the ocean had taken me for its own
I would have gone with a feeling of contentment
My spirit finally at peace
I am still here, however
The noise of the pier comes back in
And I am returned to the world
Or what’s left of it
Just another thalassophile
Glowing in the silence of the sand
For the next opportunity
To catch that perfect wave.

Saturday evening and I wait eagerly to go to my Grandma’s house
My parents are upstairs getting ready for their night out
And I sit content in front of MTV
It is early 1993
I am not quite 12 yet
The world is still golden
And I am as happy as I will ever be
From upstairs the smell of my mother’s hairspray
Drifts into the front room
I hear my father splashing his face in the bath
And know that means it’s almost time to go
It’s shortly after 6pm that it comes on
Ripped jeans, tattoos and all
It’s the new Guns N Roses video
Shot in black and white
The greatest thing on earth
I copy Axl’s moves
For mic stand read kitchen mop
I’m pretty good, I think
I could probably do that
When I’m older
My parents come down the stairs
The moment searing itself into my memory
With sepia edges and talk of yesterday
At my Grandma’s tonight will be the usual
The Fall Guy, The A Team and the rest
I’ll never feel warmer or safer than I do right there
I sing a song of yesterday’s but know not what it means
For me there is only today and the unbridled joy of youth
Tomorrow will consist of the entire family being gathered here
In my Grandma’s living room
Together, happy and unscarred
I eat my porridge ravenously
Nobody ever made it like her
The adults talk about what adults will
While, beneath them and oblivious, I roll my cousin over
and pin him for a count of two
Just yesterday it was 1993
Today, it seems
Today has nothing left for me.

Agree on most things, it seems
It is shit
But you do it anyway
What else is there, after all?
But to roll that rock up the hill
I harden my body
Toughen up
and steel my muscles for the grind
Brace myself for the harshness of this world
And prepare to give it one more