Open 11am to 8pm
Royal Festival Hall (Level 5), Southbank Centre, LondonOpen Tuesday - Sunday from 11am to 8pm
Know that yes, he will indeed
turn the screws on you,
attempt to maim your mortally ascendant
birds. They will be pierced,
taken down by drones and remote pilots.
Forget your truth. It will be shattered
Commissioned by the National Poetry Library as part of Constructing Spaces. In partnership with graduates of the Poetry School’s MA in Writing Poetry.
Now the swift spring makes our bed uneasy
and bruised earth scents the evening ;
flowers walk beneath the pavements
shaking the city and the street
standards have put out leaves.
The white shoot leans to the light
and the moth courts the weeping candle ;
neighbours are lovers and
the statues discover syllables
to release their tongues.
Later we may remember
a little of their language when
another spring frees the fountain,
but between the seasons lies
the death of flowers, the winter and a bed
cold with the lack of love.
The tons of brick and stone, the yards of piping,
the sinks and china basins, three toilets, the tiles,
and the tons of wood in floors, chairs, tables,
the yards of flex and cable that wrap the house
like a net, the heavy glassed front door, the gate
onto the street, the rippled sheets of window,
the yew tree by the back, the pictures, books, piano:
what would it all weigh? One kiss, one breathed
declaration, and there it is: the mass of love.
Although I only use a few
its rack of buttons feels familiar
– a scientific calculator
to school kids yet to work out pi.
I play the channels with one thumb,
cross by stepping stones of touch,
touch, touch from floodlit football pitch
to chat show guest, to this sit com.
But now I’ll have to share the thing,
give up my relay race from news
to news, budge over for someone else
to sit, with tired legs, strange
tastes. She points afresh: to archive
lifestyles…jobs I once considered,
places I thought I’d one day live.