The sharper-eyed amongst you may recognise the picture attached to this month’s poem. It’s the cover picture [by the enormously talented Jacky Fleming] from my latest collection, and it’s here so you can imagine the scene from earlier this year when we climbed down to this very bench and found an old lady, on her own, playing a concertina as if to the waves. She was in ‘my’ seat but it was clearly ‘hers’ too. Something about the glorious strangeness of the encounter caught me, and this poem is the result. Concertina I heard its wheezy leather lung, the jig It played as I took the steps carefully, Knees stiff with early morning and old age, To reach the little bay, the navy sea. An old wom

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