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10108477poem
Forecasting the Present

 

I notice it every time,

one hand stuck on FAIR

through winter, summer.

 

George III, M. Woller,

Vernier scale, detachable

hygrometer.

 

Silent moon face

in the corridor,

glanced at, tapped,

 

should blink

and elegantly explain

the weather in the window,

 

but the mercury,

once liquid in its

tall, thin tube,

 

is black and stuck,

insisting climate

does not change.

 

I’ll get it fixed,

I like to know

what’s happening,

 

turn the wheel

so one hand marks

where the level rests

 

beneath earth’s tidal air,

full of swift, quicksilver

shoals this afternoon.

 

Tomorrow it will recall

where we were,

and its companion

 

tugged by a thread will say

if we slid down or

climbed up from yesterday.

 

 

© Chris Hardy

Picture 10108477, illustration in a Civil Service Stores catalogue, 1926, image copyright Mary Evans

 

 

Chris Hardy has travelled widely and now lives in London. His poems have been published in Stand; Tears in the Fence; The Dark Horse; The Interpreter’s House; The North; The Rialto; ink sweat and tears, the compass magazine and many other places. He is in LiTTLe MACHiNe (described by Carol Ann Duffy as ‘The most brilliant music and poetry band in the world’), performing their settings of well-known poems at literary events in the UK and abroad. His fourth collection, Sunshine at the end of the world, was published by Indigo Dreams Publications in 2017. Roger McGough said about the book: ‘A guitarist as well as a poet Chris Hardy consistently hits the right note, never hits a false note’ and Peter Kennedy, in London Grip says, ’Chris writes vivid, expository poetry often heavy with portent and mystery. Each of these poems is a story as beautifully muscular and slippery as an eel’. Chris writes: ‘I have an old barometer that my grandad used to look at and tap every day. It is very old and when it was passed to me I decided to get it fixed. That is what the poem is, partly, about.’