I comb the Oxfam shop in Skipton
for trench coats lined with gabardine
a retro-fashionista with a croupier’s hand –
I screw my eyes, feel my blissful way:
liquorish leather, sandy camel hair
gap-year anorak, a maze of astrakhan
the mystic drip of gunmetal drop-waist,
the hot summer of trim Ottoman jersey
Egyptian gingham, spandex kimono,
the fresh cool finger-sift of chesca bead
Indonesian bolero, silver lace midi,
the backhand slap of gold sequin mesh
organdie, organza, spandex, tulle, velour,
the knuckle rap of beaded scallop
hint of chiffon, pale braided paisley lace,
the whoosh of louche vanilla blouse
ritzy, plain, plain ritzy and a glam encore –
a live rendition of democracy; love
how they pull together on the rail –
people should take a lead from clothes –
ah! the worsted pull of gabardine.
I pay. I should pay more. I go
Philip Burton has a love for readings and performance, developed through life as an English and Drama teacher, Lancashire head teacher, folksinger, amateur actor, and as a poetry practitioner who, as Pip The Poet, has provided hundreds of poetry days for schools and for adult learners. His poems are widely published. Stir won the Teignmouth poetry festival poetry competition, 2015, judged by Penelope Shuttle. His collection titled His Usual Theft, Indigo Dreams (pub.), will be available in 2017.
Garments by Philip Burton won third prize in the Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition 2015 judged by Afam Akeh.