Here, I am closer to the gaps in the sky where nine suns fell. I can touch the trails left by my husband’s arrows, where the night was almost unseamed. And Mother, I can look down at the clouds that drag like the hem of your dress. I can see the valley where you taught […]
The moon looking down at the carol singers. The moon looking down at carrots for the reindeer, wishing he could eat them.
I’m in my bedroom staring at the moon, wondering if I could ever visit him. From here, it looks like the moon is dancing in the light, as my shadow creeps across it.
laying in a bed of forget-me-nots and wild garlic all Ophelia all bone and froth, you know, the way they paint girls I saw a dolphin arc over the moon, that great voluptuous croak (I kid you not) and then I looked around and I was laying on the moon, and it […]
The Earth held tight to what it had been given; those clear skies, that startling life. It held me to be a woman, gravity-bound. Wife with no husband, mother to the stars. A goring crescent. Sharp slice of lithium consuming itself. I was Selene and Sina, stray Chang’e, a goddess dissolving on the night’s tongue […]
old Mount Mikasa under the unchanging glow waited, too – in vain nightly rose the cry: two shipwrecks and a war away lies my native land but the rabbit, hunched, pounding eternal rice cakes lends no ears to sorrow and so the poet immortalised by his longing lays his brush to rest.
Still they say I am moon full, swollen with light and spilling over floorboards. Rippling with tides, roaring with dreams, ready to consume and ready to release, bleached white bones flung to a bleached white beach. Still they say I am moon stung, hymning […]
What about Cheerios, awash in the milk of the night or the chalk dust of toast – imagine the stars swiped from the sky by a napkin. A cereal bar, with rivers of yogurt and chocolate aliens of dried apple – I am decorated with wrappers like aeronautical debris. My granddad told me the moon […]
History At the age of thirteen, I wielded a blade because I had a firm grip, I was in love with Shakespeare, and the school team needed an épéeist. When my mother flew to Linz to watch me go 3–4 down against a former champion, she gripped the railing until her marriage ring was folded […]
Bedtime, it’s always that book about a man who climbs a very long ladder to draw down the white sliver when his daughter can’t sleep. The ceiling of dad’s spare room glows green with plastic stars, comets and crescents. An IKEA mobile strings a green planet, orange rings, yellow stars and a blue rocket. Too […]
Sometimes the Moon when newly risen sits as if a remnant in a bay, like it’s a wounded boat – or else balloon as it deflates; old soft crab-apple caught in the cleft of a bare tree. It sails out this evening sallow over Bungay, beyond the looming stretches where I drive through the dark, […]
The moon through chimney-curling smoke a milk balloon tied by tv aerial bars suspended in cold blue. Intermission birds encircle, play their winter games in dying light as clouds obscure the screen a deeper shade grisaille. Naked black-laced branches signal a watershed divide. Suddenly, silver Houdini transported to a higher sphere, illusion’s trick. A solitary […]
We come from an empty room where we slept on cold air. There’s ice in the grass. Night is an envelope. There have been other moons: spills of orange, clear faces, crescents framed by windows, coins turned in pockets but oh! this deluge of light, vast slow invasion of the house – making a space […]
The sun is pulled below the far-off hill and at my back the super blood wolf moon climbs slow to light the folds of moor on this eclipse, as snowdrops break from winter’s cold, life rises from the still-chilled earth but with the buds and shoots come grief when we are gone, imagine tarmac overgrown […]
Wash your hands in the blood of a million dandelion clocks, coat yourself in onion skin, the paper, the pearly layers make the congregation weep in longing. They don’t know why, just out of reach. Scud a puck of soap under your nails for protection. Line the windowsills with fertilised eggs and […]
Right royally we’d screwed up, splashed out on non-essential starches and yeasts, spreed through a month’s wage one Wednesday night till emptied pockets hung loose and sad like donkeys’ ears. So we stooped low at the fountain of dreams, stole pounds and pence from tiled shallows, coins […]
A Golden Shovel after ‘On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous’ by Ocean Vuong You light candles for every ghost of your blood, bend to say your prayers, burn joss to mask the smell of surrender. You pile plastic fruit at the shrine and queue for rations. Remember to say cảm ơn, even in the eye of […]
A Golden Shovel after‘Party Piece’ by Brian Patten let’s forget it how we cut flares like night steamers the way we can clip and unclip each other’s bright wires worm our currents down to earth our […]
A Golden Shovel after ‘Call Me by Your Name’ by André Aciman We die so many deaths before we turn twenty. We, the schoolyard Kardashians. We sew our stories, rip them out as the schoolbus pulls up at our door. We out cast our vile tongues so the aunties won’t. Scrape it so they won’t […]
A Golden Shovel after ‘Fern Hill’ by Dylan Thomas Funny how the spring rain unscrews the time sending the clouds scattered ahead that had been held fixed like memory for months, nowhere for me to look; now branches drip overhead, fat and green droplets like crystal earrings glittering and singing on tarmac like there’s no […]
A Golden Shovel after Shakespeare the garden yawns: it has just struck two o’clock. small creatures crawl, summer-drunk and muffled by heat. in the dirt, a bee tumbles over and over itself, belly showing, legs whirling dust. i excavate, scooping up an ore made of hot earth and gravel and grass and animal, a hysterical […]
A Golden Shovel after Heathers christ, as soon as he turned seventeen he was swallowed up by it all. chaos coated him like a sugar glaze. dressing like the search results for ‘grunge’ on pinterest is popular with teen girls. apparently. a different one every Thursday. what lost me was the way he threw out […]
A Golden Shovel after ‘Ozymandias’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley They have built things, these wrists, my teeth and tongue, they howl my name I hear it in the downpour, the glass is rattled with it, a furious Ozymandias gale-force. I choke on the word king the wisteria forming my spinal cord isn’t of bending bowing […]
A Golden Shovel after ‘Days’ by Philip Larkin For me, pain brings, among other things, the tissues of the priest pressed into my palm, and the silence surrounding the suggestion of seeing a doctor.
(in Hills Cemetery) Seen it. The plot & like it. In all particulars. Rough grass soon to be mown. The handful of ants clambering up the harsh green stalks then down. £437. A snip. I’ll take it with its unseen complimentary worms. The only earth I’ll ever own around me wrapped tight.
At full tilt, air gleamed – and a window-struck kingfisher, snatched up, lay on my palm still beating faintly. Slowly, a tincture of whatever consciousness is infused its tremor, and ram beak wide as scissors all hurt loganberry inside, it crept over my knuckle and took my outstretched finger in its wire foot-rings. Cobalt wings, […]
I could not run so I took root, still as a housewife, stagnant. My eyelids went first. Desiccated to tracing paper to sandpaper. You, in your gleaming arrogance, you could never foresee this; that my arms would age to bark, my belly an empty whisky barrel. The feet that failed me trickling in sunlight, toes […]
We blame our bad days on opening umbrellas indoors, magpies and broken mirrors, walking past black cats on pavement cracks under ladders, killing spiders, spilling salt on the table next to new shoes in a size 13. Cold calls from numbers ending in 666 – throwing pennies, picking clovers, blowing candles out, wishing for something […]
Contains strong language A man will drown if held under by his own dead weight or a stranger’s hand, pushing him to the piss-slick tiles. There’s no safety in a closed door, but a man wouldn’t hope for more than he’s given – a body desperate for the air in another’s lungs – take his mouth, […]
Contains strong language. Love is a hairy moth: fickle and fleeting, Not the knight in shining armour I was promised, But a balding man who can’t stop eating, Just a turnip farmer shrouded in Wiltshire mist. Would it hurt to bring me roses rather that shallots? Or take me out to a fancy candle-lit dinner? […]