The Poets

poem beginning with a line of John Clare   Poets love nature and themselves are love. Imagine an out-of-the-way cottage Close to dunes, the marram grass whispering Above technicolour snails …

Television Knows No Night

Oh open window, oh immobility of Nature, oh spectacle of emotional magniloquence, oh error about life entirely necessary, oh Miltonic angels of the subchannel, oh aspect ratio I’d love you …

I’ll trade you (commended poem: 2015 competition)

For the prayers you learned from your mother, kneeling together in childhood’s extended Nativity scene I’ll trade you a coral-bound missal once owned by a queen.   For the motherly …

Domestic (commended poem: 2015 competition)

Glass as day-blooming flower, television as mortar shell. Television as volleyball against white sun. Sun as broken glass, in fragments, glass as crazy paving on street below. Power cord as …

A Room in the City (3rd prize: 2015 competition)

My hands know every nubble of the wallpaper. The wind still shuffles about behind the fireplace. On better days, I go downstairs for dinner; tomorrow we shall have paper hats …

The Static (2nd prize: 2015 competition)

After ‘The Horses’, Edwin Muir Some listened on after the broadcasts ended, winding their radios at dusk for the static to earth their sleep. At dawn, barely a twelvemonth after, …

from ‘My Love Don’t Cost a Thing’

It is easy to say nothing. Nearly every song I’ve ever heard says nothing, whether by accident or intention. In ‘Welcome to New York’, which often plays on the radio …

Contracted Silences

1 Antonio Stradivari stalks the Forest of Violins, kicking trees for close-ringed echoes made later by his Messiah, now the Ashmolean’s, bequeathed on condition it be never played. 2 Debbie …

A Picnic

A Picnic At first almost nothing, an inkling of porcelain as of a wind-chime’s: then, breakers crash – windows web and give splintering rainbows, sockets fizz and pop, shelves pour …

The air itself

inside the tiny, inside the candy-coloured theatre, open to the beachfront, sweet to the retina and wriggling, you might say, in the palaver of its excess, is suddenly still as …

Annus / Versus

If you, in a park / peal spiritual let me come running – opal streak   & the sky grieves its sun- oracle foretelling, & the sky   rejoices simply …

On Not Being Gaudí

Cruelty, Cadalfach, to be at this hour hatched into the too-late world.   Your new blue eyes look out from your mother’s spent sleeping breast. You protest. You complain to …

The Lovers

They are the same person at sunrise, at noon they are Self and Self, at midnight they hate each other – doesn’t it exhaust them?   But who is it? …

The dark

The underlying thing is the dark And it is everywhere And the lights go on But you are not home There is a red lamb With black fur on its …

Winston

Nibbling my proffered carrot with prehensile lips, you bow that great head of yours in gratitude and I stare into the cloudy cobalt of your eye,   finger your muzzle’s …

the role of increasing concreteness

Put groups of things together under subheadings to believe them. Question the validity of order. The obvious answer is root vegetables but I perceived it as tubular. The pattern was …