“Our Dad’s Soul” my twenty third ekphrastic poem for National Poetry Month inspired by the astonishing art of Marcel Herms.

23 In search of the magic mushroom[25818]

Our Dad’s Soul

is both a mountain and a boiler room.
Our dad helped hospitals and schools
to breathe healthy, designed heating
and ventilation systems to reuse waste
heat and air to give folk clean
so they may learn and get better.

Learned his trade, scrubbed inland boilers
National Serviced ships boilers
in the clank of hot oiled, greased
and asbestosed merchant ship engine rooms
Whilst in sweltered India or Borneo.


Tops and tails his life with mountains.
Ascends Moel Famau, the Hill
of the Mothers, with his friend
who teaches him to paint. Later,
in retirement conquers Scafell Pike.
Now struggles with loss of breath
Up each rise on his stairs.

Later he will reach the port
Embark on his final voyage,
My sister, his mam and dad
wait on the quayside
for his ship to dock,
probably after he has inspected
the vessels engine room.

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