February 23, 2020
Unused swords rust
like your feather quill,
dipped in dry ink,
that scars the paper;
leaving marks that do not last,
merely dent the page,
when words were meant
to cut through.
You ask for the world,
but you don’t have to.
Your words belong on the altar –
you kneel, exhausted,
February 8, 2020
- after Chen Chen
Rest among the samphire.
Hum poseidon under your breath.
Practice how to breathe underwater.
Vex the sand. Disrupt it. Become it.
Crunch it between your toes.
Adorn yourself in oyster tongues.
Go far. Go farther.
Excavate where others have been before.
November 6, 2019
today is no different to yesterday
because the shaking in his veins hasn't subsided yet,
because his trousers still crumple (no matter how they are hung),
because he still has a hair for every
thinning, grey year he stays alive.
he wonders if cafes mock him
for always lea...
August 14, 2019
When Smyrna fell, we rose from the chairs
our grandfather made and grew unsure
what to call ourselves. We—who’d always
broken bread with them and stuttered
strange Turkish vowels—
found ourselves nervous at the picture
window watching their horses and soldiers
leaping at the...
June 26, 2019
They are never so beautiful as now:
lustrous with light and water,
a succession of small startles
shining in the dun matt sand.
Blown bubbles wander up
from the waveline, skate on waterfilm
which holds the piebald sky,
the adolescent April sun.
I walk on blue-white heavens.
May 26, 2019
Into your loneliness
we place our voices,
hoping our words
might comfort your wounded heart.
We do not mean
to remind you
of all you have lost
by extolling the manifold virtues
of your husband
now gone, but we are foolish
in the face of grief,
never knowing whether
to share our ow...
May 12, 2019
the breakfast dishes
as her children were leaving,
they left two moist goodbye-kisses
on her cheek. She plunged her hands into hot water,
awakening a thousand little scars. Now, the bed sheets were clean.
She was surrounded by all types of water, not blue skin...
May 6, 2019
What have those watery globes
in industrial goggles seen?
Frozen lakes, dance halls, unexpected
Goodbyes, I’m sure.
Locked vaults of anaesthetic and no
combination. You’ve trapped me in those unbroken
I know you want to forget,
but every mispronunciation
reminds me of wh...
April 22, 2019
Anonymous (at writer's request)
Why are you still up?
Why do you feel so down?
Don’t you have work in the morning?
Guts pour down. TV blares....
April 9, 2019
For the longest evening, we have nothing.
The lorry is delayed, and we squat in an
unfurnished box, pine-smelling and so clean
it hurts the eyes to look. We are waiting
to hear the growl of our possessions rolling
into the gravel drive, but it’s silent here
and there’s nothi...