Tincture by Bob Beagrie

Bob Beagrie’s ‘Tincture’ walks us perfectly through a numb haze. It employs claustrophobia and disjointedness as he paces the familiar rooms of his home which become a parallel word of strangeness. He is ‘inhabiting her slumberlands’. The sharp dart of the words ‘parietal lobe’ are like a stone thrown into a stifled pond. It is a story of one human’s numbing fear that everything has become forever changed. – Jane Burn, guest editor


The chimney is snoring
as she sleeps
I sit by the window
having paced
around the house like a blind man
finger tips
brushing the walls
the crenellated edges
of inherited cabinets
the spines
of dusty books,
sent the globe on a single spin
to let April’s sunlight
across The Middle Kingdom
as if to test today’s solidity,
or my own
as if I am
inhabiting her slumberlands
of slow recovery
wading through a maze
of memories
within her brain’s posterial cortical.

There is a theory
that water has memory
has the ability to retain
the residual information
of the things
it has absorbed
come into contact with
inhabited          experienced
merged with in a process
of molecular union.

The walls of this house
in the early afternoon sunlight
appear translucent
like a blister
the living room
is filling with fluids
pouring from a tap
in the parietal lobe
it sounds
like the ringing
of a phone
to the emergency services
it sounds
like rising panic
it sounds
like a lesson in patience
no need, now, to hold
my breath          close my eyes
to the flood.
Will these soul-waters
remember me
when next she wakes?

Bob Beagrie
Image by Kev Howard


Bob Beagrie is a poet and playwright from Middlesbrough and a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Teesside University. He has published nine collections of poetry, most recently Remnants in collaboration with Jane Burn (Knives, Forks & Spoons Press 2019), Leasungspell (Smokestack Books 2016 and This Game of Strangers collaboration with Jane Burn (Wyrd Harvest Press 2017), his tenth collection Civil Insolencies is due out from Smokestack Books in December 2019.



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