Glenn Hubbard

Glenn Hubbard lives in Madrid, where he teaches an English which is often rather ugly. Perhaps for this reason he started writing poetry.

He has had work published in a large number of online and paper journals. One of his poems was submitted for the Forward Prize

in 2019 and this year he won the Bangor Literary Journal’s FORTY WORDS competition with his poem Thirlage. He can occasionally

become a little obsessive about a poem but this is amply compensated for the marvelous experience of losing all sense of time while

he writes. His poetry owes a great deal to that of the late R.F. Langley.

East Lothian Lashed

The storm raged all night, 
the spirits of sailors 
drowned in the Firth of Forth 
rattling window panes, 
pleading to come in, sensing 
the presence of their mothers, 
burdened with regret and apology, 
seeking forgiveness and blessing.

In the morning roofs wreathed
in seaweed, jackdaws ransacking 
the drying, fly-infested fronds
for sea slugs while below crows 
skipped up paths to peck at jellyfish 
impaled on hybrid tea rose bushes. 
Lawns wore constellations of starfish 
and ponds were fleeted with flotsam 
and bottles that bobbed in the small 
waves made by the untrousered legs 
of schoolchildren sure to arrive late 
for assembly as they searched for crabs 
beneath the garden gnomes blown over 
the edges of favourite fishing spots 
and lying prone, rods still held in hand, 
on beds of resistant polyethylene, amongst 
slates, bin lids, and traumatised goldfish.

Tease In The Trees

Standing still, I am doing it right.
Not walking into their spaces
giving them a fright, the colour 
of the bum the only clue 
as they fly away.

Crows make a row. Cows
moo behind the wall,
where I stood that day
staring at a thicket, recording
something in it, for A.

A jay. A hawfinch gives 
me the beady. Highly 
mobile long-tailed tits do
not hang about, come and go.
Wrens stage Rigoletto.

Now this tiny sip somewhere.
Up there. Something sitting 
very still it seems. Something 
not wanting to be seen
she might say. Come away!

All branches bare. Nowhere 
to hide. But my eyes 
grow tired as nothing stirs 
while insisting - persistent
sibilance - on its existence.

Lichen is a distraction.
Its puzzle pieces. This
is squamulose. Fabulous.
Why don’t they see? Again!
Like a mouse that squeak.

They can live for six weeks 
on a bar of soap. I am not
giving up hope. But cracks
are showing. Not knowing
creeping onto the agenda.

I miss her - her strong will 
to end this obstinacy, turn
and take my hand, lead 
me off - shoulders back! -
for love or tea.

The Lonely

Perhaps she is one of them, the sad-faced woman 
crossing the park with her shopping bag, seeming 
to lag behind a life always disappearing around the corner, 
leaving the park now before her. 

Perhaps her bag contains a hearty, heart-friendly lunch 
she will eat alone, an iced cake she will not cut in half
with care to share, there in her kitchen where, sitting
at the window, she will watch, maybe, a fat pigeon 
eating the seed from the feeder she fills each morning 
for smaller birds. 

Perhaps, beside the shopping, she popped in 
some jolly join-us! leaflets she picked up 
in the porch of the local church, wondering 
if it would matter if she feigned faith, sure she
could still remember the words.
Perhaps she carries books from the library, hoping 
they will steal her attention, leave the ticking clock 
unaccompanied in the hours before it will be time 
to open the bottle she could have in her bag, its screw top 
reminding her of the corks on that Spanish holiday. 

Perhaps, inside that bag, is the TV-guide
where she will highlight, in bright colours, 
everything that she does not want to miss. 

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