First Week of Jan

You take a drink in the Merchant’s Arms, 

fire ablaze… Exeter quietly pummelling Bath

on the muted telly. People drawing back together 

after being away at New Year, Christmas. 

The mood relaxed, now there’s no pressure to celebrate. 

Convivial in a Hotwell’s bar that makes few demands.

As you walk home the moon floats 

in a perfect pool of blackness. 

Strange to turn from fireside company

down the harbour road, past the locked-up boatyard

into the arms of the skeletal lime trees 

and the swallowing dark; familiar, yes, 

in the here-of-this, but under that moon 

you’re now a million miles from anywhere.