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Nicholas Hogg

Nicholas Hogg has been writing poetry for five years, and has met with success in several publications. Last year he was shortlisted for the UK's prestigious Eric Gregory award for younger poets. One to keep your eye out for!
Out of bounds

Towering power lines, sunlight on the cables,
this little blue bike. The sea flickers and ripples,

laps against the wall. I ride along the wharf
in a glittering strobe, magnesium bright.

I send you a picture of the bay by phone.
The scene beams into space and plays

on your palm. The horizon, scored with a city
in gold, fades into shapes that merge with sky.

Your screen is silent. No sound of the planes
that bank and climb, the boats that motor

and barely leave a wake. And loudest of all,
above the industry and noise of the busying day,

the sound of golf balls struck in a driving range.
I can hear the clean thwack of contact,

the after-swooshed whip of air, whistling flight.
But no landing. No thud on the green

or splash of a slice, just an infinite climb.
Pocket moons launched like the image

on your phone, satellites pinged
in the dark of space, the ricochets held

by the gravity of Earth.
An orbit looped with dimpled spheres.

Wish you were here

Walking through town,
and seeing old friends float
on brown or crack,
coke or dope,
words of highs like whizz
or speed,
skunk inhaled.

Thinking I knew you.

Running from the school
with a ball at your feet,
running through the fields
like a deer in flight,
a homemade plane
and the wind in your hand,
a kite string taut
and fixed to the sky.

Running from the school
with an ounce of weed,
running through the fields
like a wanted man,
the cigarettes broken
and a crumbled leaf,
the breath-held rush
like a sundae soul.

                To this.

Tatters of veins and needle dreams,
a wobbling ghost in the midday sun,
an unknown shadow
in the blank of need.

Fade to blue

Like Jesus,
John is walking on water.

by only an inch of sea,

the sandbank is a mile out
and performs miracles.

At low tide it can surface
like a tan back whale

or magical island,
a seam of floating gold.

His aim is nowhere
and progress is made,

quick steps
through a melting mirror,

a self
emptied and strange.

And I too am here and happy.

to watch the waves unspool
like cotton on a loom,

to be simple
in the beauty of distance,

this electric
of sky.

(c) Nicholas Hogg 2003