Poem of the day

Beyond the space

by Roy MacFarlane

Untidy Dreadful Table 

WS Graham

1918 – 1986

Inscription found on the table of WS Graham

 

Untidy dreadful table

You’ve taken the weight of words

Along lines upon lines upon your back

Vertical lines like reeds rising from a lake

 

You’ve felt the thud of keys

Against carbon against paper

And now beyond the space

Beyond the poet

 

Who laid down words and walked away

Beyond the time of urgency

The capturing of words

To engage a passing reader

 

In this quiet space

In this corner of an imagined place

Sitting in front 

 

Of an untidy dreadful table
 

25 March

Cold Water

by John Siddique

Washing faces and forearms in the river.

Washing our feet, calves, the bodily heat.

Washing out the snot from our noses.

Cleaning the root of the tongue.

 

Tearing dog roses full of redness.

Handfuls of petals on the surface.

Letting words go with the flower heads,

letting the words cleanse the root of

 

the tongue. River of words, undulating

heavy mirror. The magnetic coldness,

stones slippery with angel hair weed

dancing along down in the cold.

 

24 March

Arrival 1946

by Moniza Alvi

23 March

Bluelookout Mountain

by Les Murray

Bluelookout is a tractor climb

to where you see the South Pacific.

The animals who stay

up there don’t know to see it.

 

Bluelookout is the colours and smooth

texture of forest pigeons

though it’s ‘dirty’ in some folds

with scrub the old ones would have burnt.

 

Grasses of exotic green

radiate down its ridge lines

just how snow would lie

 

and the owner’s house snuggles

in close, not for shelter

but out of all the view.

 

22 March

Resident

by Barbara Barnes

I arrive early afternoon in a blaze 

of wrong-seasoned sun.

 

The Thames drags its tourists upstream,

all the babies are out, some Italians are lost.

 

Your seaside home has been re-built

here, cloud-high in concrete,

 

spliced between lift-chime

and the airless hum of books–

 

an edit point, pause palace. I find

the door to the door to your door,

 

close it behind me.

Candles dance an imitation flicker,

 

your desk is patterned with pockmarks ,

your bed made up in a red check–

 

an invitation to rest,  yet

I dream deepest standing up.

 

The gulls are switched on, crying above

waves piped in with no salty tang.

 

I come to this place. Come to this place.

Everything repeats on a loop.

 

I’ve brought some fine words for your list

including  sweven, noetic, griskin,

 

and a small joke that nods 

to our hard Celtic “r’s”.

 

Something chirrups, another creaks,

you murmur about the dead of your life.

 

I pace the floorboards with a soft tread,

in the next room you are typing, were typing.

 

I fashion the bedspread into a shawl 

as the not-night begins to bite.

 

The sound of whiskey pouring tempts the back 

of my throat, the typewriter ribbon’s gone dry.

 

Paper is scrunched, the radio switched off,

We speak into this quiet that was made for us. 

 

It’s growing late, the real river catches 

the evening’s navy robe as it falls. I wonder

 

how on earth I can leave you now.

O my love keep the day.

 

21 March

Afterwardness

by Mimi Khalvati

Still of dancer from Dancing Words film
20 March

from preterrain

by Craig Santos Perez