Sky Nails

That first day, to break me in,
my hardened comrades
sent me scampering like a marmoset
from the topmost parapet
 
to the foreman’s hut
for a bag of sky nails.
The foreman wondered which precise
shade of blue I had in mind.
 
It’s still sky nails I need today
with their faint threads
and unbreakable heads
 
that will nail anything
to nothing
and make it stay. 

first published in The Kiosk on the Brink (OUP, 1993), © Jamie McKendrick 1993, from Sky Nails, Poems 1979-1997 (Faber, 2000), used by permission of the author

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1Nostalgia

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2Sky Nails

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3On the Volcano

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4Et in Orcadia Ego

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5Ancient History

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6Six Characters in Search of Something

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7The One Star

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8Gainful Employment

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16Singing Lessons

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17The Needful

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18The Canary Principle

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19Polonius

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20Unfaded

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21Twain

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22Vocations

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24The Book of Names

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25Out There

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26The Perils

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27Teazles

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28The Gate

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31The Judgement

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32Cofiwch Dryweryn

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Books by Jamie McKendrick