blackmail press 18
David Ingram
New Zealand

David Ingram Born in North Devon. My mother read her favourite poets to my twin sister and I, while awaiting our birth. She was greatly fond of Dylan Thomas, Archie McLeish and Wallace Stevens, all of whom I carry around in my memory bank.
I was a very junior navigator on the U.S run to Oz and NZ, in the early '50's.  We navigating apprentices had a 'British Apprentices Club' all to ourselves, on the third floor of the Chelsea Hotel in NY, where lived Alan Ginsberg and other prominent poets and artists.   Years later I discovered that Dylan Thomas was dying there during one of my visits.  (Alan Curnow hung out in NY with Dylan Thomas in the years just before DT's death). 
Taxed in NZ since '57, first at sea, on Coasters, then in the Book Trade for 32 years.  The bookshop I started (as David's Bookshop, now 'Wild Swans') will have its 40th b'day this year.  Back to harbour sea-faring, running a sailing school  '93 to '04,  Writing poems since '02; have taken part in Poetry Live, irregularly, since then.

While Children Sleep

It is at night, while children sleep, their mothers
anxious  in the dark, that danger approaches

as distant thunder in the desert air.
It is night when the long-ships arrive

under silent sail on the North Sea coast,
villages disappear beneath sudden flame,

the ashes  hot underfoot in the morning.
It is night when the scout is sent, under-cover

to listen, silent in the taverns, to the rebel
and the coward, to the incautious tongue

sibilant in the dark.  Thunder is closer
in the desert air, strangers assault the ravine

and on the Mesa the dominant church
rises among adobe walls. 

It is night when the long-ship in the sky
with thunder beyond thunder

arrives over minarets and ancient
domes bearing gifts

from faraway men, laughing
grimly as the wedding party dies

children sleep, their mothers
crying in the dark.