Mr. Duncan-Smith Dreaming In The Sun

A man is knocking down a high brick wall
only to rebuild it further from the swollen river,
each brick re-finding its original neighbour,
the wall somehow more massive than before.

Torrential rain from a bright sky,
though the ground is bone.
Days of rain upon the man and the wall in minutes
make him pace back and forth and change tack.

Now he is smashing the bricks, bagging the bits,
piling the bags in a line, then a stack, then, well, a wall.
The water laps against the bags, soaks them dull.
The earth is a footprint set hard and sharp.

There are children up on roofs, arms out,
shadowing helicopters and planes,
smudge-faced children down in the dirt
scratching for tools of make believe.

There are parents looking for their children,
good parents looking for naughty and nice alike.
The motives of others, says the voiceover,
the unfathomable motives of others.


Mark Robinson’s New & Selected Poems, How I Learned to Sing was published in 2013 by Smokestack Books and selected for New Writing North’s ‘Read Regional’ library promotion in 2014. His poem ’The Infinite Town’ was commissioned in 2014 to be carved into a large plinth on Stockton High Street. (You can see it here: CLbAx1WW8AQiWfS.jpg:large) He founded the cultural consultancy Thinking Practice in 2010, and has since worked with nearly 100 organisations in the UK, Australia, Canada and South Africa. He writes regularly on culture and cultural policy, at



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