Occasionally, my sleeping baby girl
wakes alone within the darkened room,
lets out the saddest little drawn out wail

then falls asleep again. The summer moon
glints icily through our uneven blinds,
a helicopter judders through the gloom,

a dog across the road barks and then grinds
his canines against his new favourite stick.
There’s never a moment when you cannot find

something that’s crying out, but if you pick
a random living room, you’ll find instead
a roaring soul within a nest of brick,

a trembling lip, a hairline bead of sweat,
a knot within the stomach, a slight tick,
a mental rerun of a great regret

that will not be alchemised into talk,
nor find throat in primal, mammalian cries,
the expression rises within, then balks,

returns to its cramped cell behind the eyes.



All lights are out across the flat except
this touchscreen beaming back into my face
and all is silent as my daughter sleeps,

her little sighs and hums will never cease
to move me as I struggle to find words
to slot my stray thoughts neatly into place.

Perhaps the truest poetry occurs
when each noun makes the last one disappear
and doings are undone by each new verb

til all that’s left to say is “now” and “here”.


It’s in these quiet moments, when you’re not
keening for milk or emptying your bowels
or on a short recharge within your cot—

when your enormous, Manga-like pupils
dart about as something like a thought
has caused a stir within your mind’s calm pool.

With barely a past for you to relate
whichever happenings you register;
without a horde of words to correlate

with biases to help them hold faster—
is your mind like that of an animal?
The dog that balks at the call of its master?

Or the elephant that’s able to recall
the dry spot where her mother’s bones congeal
and stops for hours on end to caress all

that remains after vultures take their meal?
The irony is that when first words come
and you’ll have the ability to tell,

the pre linguistic mindset will be gone,
your first green moments calcified with age,
hard edged and sharp focused, dry as a drum,

as all you know is pushed aside by knowledge.


Where am I? Somewhere in the middle?
I see the world head on, hear it side on.
Thoughts float up from nowhere, pop like bubbles.

Sometimes, for a short while, I’m no one
there’s only light and noise, some brief contact
with the surface tension of my skin—

but no thoughts, no internal dialectic
or monolithic monologue—then words
return as toddlerspeak or paralytic

curbside shouts, obvious yet absurd…
though none of them come spewing from my mouth
and yet they still feel “out there”, in the world,

our only path from within to without.


All poetry’s in braille, you have to feel
the textured edges of the unfurled line
and still you will not be able to tell

the nature of what brushed against your skin.

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