Big thanks to editor Mark Antony Rossi for including these.
You ruminate – as the wheels spin on a mossier stretch
of the cobbles – on how they’d never build a road like this
these days, all the way up the hill to where field and moor
merge indifferently into one another, where the improved
becomes the unimproved. They wouldn’t even build a house.
She’ll be long dead by now, of course, so there’ll be no more
of those illicit cans of sweet stout skulking in the refrigerator,
rubbing shoulders with the UHT milk cartons; no more
coal-black surprises coiled in the plastic commode for you
to deal with. No more memories of George, ‘God rest his soul’.
She’ll have stopped wondering what might lurk about the upstairs,
where she last went over a decade ago, when her knees
were still behaving; stopped smiling in that borrowed way
of hers, with those flawless dentures, that surely belonged in
someone else’s mouth. They never mirrored the eyes.
‘This property would benefit from substantial modernisation’
bleats the brochure from the auctioneers. The images show only
the views across the dale on a high pressure, July afternoon,
and the centuries-old defiance of the stonework. Not the interior.
No mention of the ghosts you know you’d be sharing it with.
first published in The Interpreter’s House, issue 66, 2017
I’m extremely pleased to have one of my poems – “Number 44” – included in the Winter 2018 issue of London Grip, and to be in the company of some fine poets in this issue.
My thanks to editor Michael Bartholomew-Biggs for choosing my poem.
This week I received a copy of issue 66 of The Interpreter’s House magazine, which – as well as being a lovely thing – contains a poem of mine entitled “Up at Nancy’s”.
It’s amazing to be in the company of so many stellar poets, and I’m very grateful to the editorial team of TIH for choosing to include my poem. Subscriptions to the magazine – as well as copies of individual issues – can be purchased here.
Sometimes there is no sign of a struggle.
Perhaps they are brought to the house already dead,
molested a little, and then abandoned.
They seem more forlorn this way, inert and muted,
like they simply fell from the sky and managed
to land underneath this particular chair in the kitchen,
or in the middle of apparently random spaces.
It’s different when they’ve put up a fight, however
futile; the scattering of fragments will spread
to several rooms. The heavier feathers
hang like jetsam, beached and unmoving,
while the down, with its filigree whisperings,
takes flight whenever a door opens, almost lighter
than the air it would’ve been used to capture.
first published in Mad Swirl, 2016