Running Out of Time – National Poetry Month day 9 with Roderick Hart

Welcome to day nine of National Poetry Month.  Today I have fellow WordPress blogger, author, music lover and poet, Roderick Hart.   Check out his blog page for his wide range of interests only one of which is cats.  Enjoy!

I like poetry because it can express ideas uncommonly well.

How’s this for an expression of passivity?


The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach


I remember stray lines from Anglo-Saxon poetry to the twentieth century: The Wanderer, Chaucer, Marvell, Coleridge, Wallace Stevens,  Norman MacCaig. To me, writing a poem is like making an object from words.

I wrote more poems in the past than I do now, since fiction takes up most of my time.  I find the need for an underlying idea, a deep structure. If one doesn’t cross my mind, or emerge from the depths, I can’t invent it. But if I have such an idea then I can work on it.

This poem is from a series of six called Running out of Time.



Hunger doesn’t come into it.

Bagging a brace of shuttlecock, casting a fly,

the aim of the game is always the same –

to integrate the brain, the hand, and eye.



What would a man from the mists make

of our bats and balls, our rule-books and referees;

what would he say if we stuck a microphone under his nose

as he belly-ached through his primeval trees?



I combine the skills of hand and eye

every minute of the day, just to stay alive:

fishing, fowling, keeping warm and dry  –

what integrates me is the struggle to survive.



Once in a while, a wild-fowl falls

to his shaped, highly polished stone;

when humourless salmon refuse to be tickled,

his probing hand and arm are chilled to the bone.



I stalk through shops, their shelves piled high,

thinking of him, owing my very existence to his skill:

tracking down another week’s STAR BUY,

I drag my killing out through the nearest till.


Roderick Hart ©2013


My website is

It is still under construction.

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