Freighted by Graham Turner

Lowly in the high street’s Jim.
Jim says so much depends upon
the hang of the bags
the depth of the stoop
the slip of the lip
the knot of the loop.

They take him in.
They let him out.
They wash his hair.
They whet his drought.

Jim pulls his bike like a pit pony.
Jim’s bike sheds rubbish already rubbished.
The rubbish stays shed.
The bike is rubbish
but sometimes a pony.
Jim has been shed.
Jim is a pit.
Jim was a pony. And trap.
Legs shanks’s pony.
His head was the trap.

Are the handlebars aligned?
Are the fashion stars refined?
Are these tangles in his mind?
Are you wankers humankind?

Weighed down until it stops
by what you haven’t said,
Organic Jim sets off
to find his daily bed.

They fret
they spurn
they vet
they worm
they spliff
they piss
they kick
they kiss
they stick
they twist.

Jim’s dreams are rubbish.
Jim’s rubbish is dreams.
Jim is rubbish’s dreams.
Jim rubbishes his dreams.
Jim dreams he is. Rubbish.

Save us from ourselves, Jim.
Save you, Jim yourself, us.


Graham Turner stays in Edinburgh and in the Outer Hebrides, has worked with the Deaf community in the UK for over 30 years, and lectures and researches in translation and interpreting studies. Many years ago, he won a small prize for translating the work of Brian Patten into Swedish. More recently, he participated in Jo Bell’s ’52’ project, and has had work selected for StAnza and the Poetry Map of Scotland.

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