Four poems published today at Bindweed Magazine

So you wait ages and ages for an online literary magazine to publish your poems, then two pop up at once. On April Fool’s, of all days.

Bindweed Magazine has very kindly taken four of my efforts – “Inside-out”, “Growing advice for young rhubarb”, “Eaten up and spat out” and “Empty” – and you can find them here.

I’m very grateful to Leilanie Stewart and Joseph Robert for publishing these only hours after a poem of mine appeared in the first issue of Feral magazine.

Uncanny.

Poem in the first issue of Feral

I’m very pleased to have had one of my poems chosen for the inaugural issue of Feral, a new web-based literary journal of poetry and art. And I’m hugely grateful to the editorial team of Beth Gordon, Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau and Kolawole Samuel Adebayo for the honour.

You’ll find “Notes made at the start of our small civil war” and the rest of the issue here.

Hope you and your loved ones are safe and well.

Coming Back

dav

 

Coming Back

 

Shapeless patches of light

shimmy up the hillside,

countermanding each separate shadow

for a second, washing the unlit,

warming the cold spirit,

like a note pattern in

the leafless trees below.

 

You’re coming back again,

or so I heard. A strike of the eye,

irregularity of the heart.

I picture you. The limpness

of the afternoon impels me,

makes me wonder which wind

is bearing you this time.

 

 

first published in Sleet Magazine, 2018

“Spurn Head” published at The Beach Hut

I’m really pleased to have my poem “Spurn Head” up at The Beach Hut just now.

I don’t generally go in for concrete poetry. Thinking about it…this might in fact be it. It was actually written many years ago and almost forgotten about. My recent discovery of TBH – which features coastal-themed writing – led to me digging it out and submitting it. I’m very grateful to the folks in The Hut for picking it out and giving it a bash.

If you’re unfamiliar with England’s east coast, Spurn Head is at the end of the dangly bit roughly halfway up or down, depending on your point of view.

Nothing much at all

sdr

 

Nothing much at all

Out on the rotting deck –
in that unrehearsed collection
of half-barrels, steel buckets
and terracotta pots –
all your flowers are surrendering.
Heads crumple like regret,
colours leaching into sepia,
leaves and stems cigarette grey.
Only one hi-vis marigold
proudly refuses to succumb.
It’s nothing much at all,
an asterisk, a subscript
somewhere on another page,
but I feel compelled to mention it,
to spell it out in words,
devote breath to it.
Anything to cast a
stone into the silence,
create the tiniest ripple in
this heavy ocean between us.

 

first published in Soft Cartel, 2018

Inevitably

dav

Inevitably

I didn’t want to ride past your place tonight,

not with that apprentice sun – wearing its

demi-god clothes – embarrassing the sky,

and wasted on these ungrateful streets.

The beach would surely feel better, even with

the swelling tide of kids, just delivered from

the crush of exams, revving their engines.

 

But every road I followed seemed to take me

your way somehow – every convoluted loop

through the anaesthetic monotony of housing.

I had to avert my eyes as I eventually, inevitably,

passed by, so I wouldn’t catch a glimpse of

that other car spooning yours on the drive,

could avoid guessing what it might mean.

 

first published in Brittle Star, 2017

In the moment

In the moment

Reposted from 2018. Happy Valentine’s Day.

In the moment

The kids are in love, and so sweetly
you can see it melting out of them,
see gravity getting smashed into
a million pieces beneath their feet
as they bounce along, occasionally
touching down because they can.

In their free hands, the ones not
holding the other’s, they clutch balloons
painted in colours we can no longer see,
inflated with their restless thoughts of
an unmapped future, raw materials
yet to be processed into anxieties.

Don’t you remember the first days of our
being? The damage we caused to gravity?
Our balloons? How the brilliant shock
of it interrupted time itself, and made
the future evaporate, while we failed to
notice ourselves not breathing properly?

 

first published in Tales from the Forest, Issue 5, 2017

Plea

dav

 

Plea

 

Sometimes all I really want is to lie

in your spent arms a little longer,

wherever we are, whatever I’m

covered in, whoever is crashing at

your door, or rattling at your boxes

with their greedy, insistent little words.

 

Let them wait. Let them stew on a

low heat. Open one eye at least, while I

use your heart as a pillow, and hum this

tune that’s burrowed itself into my ear.

Now – gently – pick the stones from out

of my hooves. Throw them at the stars.

 

 

first published in Eunoia Review, 2018

Caprice

sdr

 

Caprice

 

You make your mind up

like the rain.

Covert bands of threat, promise

and maybe-nots

line themselves along the catwalk

of the horizon.

Only some will make it, cross

the full longitude

of the ocean, grey smothering blue.

I await both

the storm and the steady drill

of business,

neither cat nor dog, proffering

a curious hand.

 

first published in Sleet Magazine, 2018