Back to Reading No. 1Reading No. 22

Reading No. 24Jump to the latest reading

David Gray
Singer + songwriter
Recorded in Hampstead, London

Gavin Turk
Painted bronze

Sometimes a-dropping from the sky
I heard the sky-lark sing;
Sometimes all little birds that are,
How they seemed to fill the sea and air
With their sweet jargoning!

And now 'twas like all instruments,
Now like a lonely flute;
And now it is an angel's song,
That makes the heavens be mute.

It ceased; yet still the sails made on
A pleasant noise till noon,
A noise like of a hidden brook
In the leafy month of June,
That to the sleeping woods all night
Singeth a quiet tune.

She pushes the trolley along the uneven pavement, every crack, each jolt familiar. At the rear of the mall she stops, the recessed metal door her bed tonight. Here she shelters, not sleeps, until the light of morning tells her she has survived another night. Every day it’s harder to ask her bones to work. She adjusts her hat, hides her matted grey hair and dons her grimy velvet coat. Her name was Mary.

Her sleeping bag, her cardboard, she loads into the trolley and makes her circuit of the town. If it’s not raining, she dozes on the seafront bench, the sea-sound lulls her, and she remembers, unsure whether she’s dreaming or not. The café past the car park serves her, tea and beans on toast. Every day is the same. She rests a while outside the cinema, then continues on until, as evening darkens, she reaches the door at the back of the mall.

Christina Moore