A Trade/Something Understood

I've written some more poems. That seems to be the direction my creativity is taking of late, thoughts emerging in words, fragments of enlightenment, observations, confusions rather than clear linear pictures or narratives.

I go with the flow. 

I think it’s because poetry is the best medium for expressing almost inexpressible - Marie Howe describes this really brilliantly.

“Well, poetry holds…what can’t be said. It can’t be paraphrased. It can’t be translated. The great poetry I love holds the mystery of on being alive. It holds a kind of basket of words that feels inevitable. There’s great, great, great prose, you know, gorgeous prose. You and I could probably quote some right now. Poetry has a kind of trancelike quality still. It has the quality of a spell still, you know.”

A Trade

The universe demanded a price for my children

But I did not know until it was too late.

The coffin passed

and you tossed and churned in my belly,

new life and new death, separated by flesh and wood.


Two brothers for two babies

A straight swap but not a fair trade,

our joy for their sadness

our family for theirs.


I promise lives full of adventure

to match the ones they lived

journeys across oceans,

days spent catching fish.

Is that enough thanks for this huge sacrifice? 

Two siblings for two siblings,

two deaths for two lives.


Something Understood


It is early Spring in the Norfolk lane.

Daffodils adorn the verge in dense, luxurious puffs of yellow.

We have paused while our sandy haired boy

bends to observe a pebble or bug,

flicking the dust with a stick.

The ‘daffodil trumpets’ catch his eye

and he reaches out a fleshy finger

poking it deep into the centre of every flower

each gesture a reverential ritual,

accompanied by its own fanfare.


I meet your eye, 

“People ask why we’re here.

I think this might be why.

Just to be here. This.”

You nod and smile. 

The breeze rustles the poplars.