Wednesday 30 August 2023
Wednesday 16 August 2023
I’m eighteen, helping my girlfriend
clear out her grandpa’s shed.
In among the tarpaulin sheets and plastic chairs
I saw it: the biggest bug in the world,
right there on the wall. A hideous thing.
Was it a centipede? A scorpion?
My girlfriend said it was nothing more
than the shadows playing tricks.
We broke up not long after.
Her light bothered me.
The things that were there.
The things she couldn’t see.
Monday 7 August 2023
Saturday 5 August 2023
I’ve got a fear of flying.
It causes me to fret.
To see the ground beneath me
makes me break out in a sweat.
It leaves me feeling giddy.
My stomach starts to heave.
The scope of my revulsion
isn’t easy to conceive.
I’ve sought help from a therapist.
It didn’t do the trick.
Whenever I am airborne
I get bilious and sick.
You may contend it’s normal
but this crisis is absurd –
the thing is, my aversion
isn’t great when you’re a bird.
Thursday 3 August 2023
We both wake up around eight, eight-thirty.
You sleepily ask if I want a coffee
and with the cat curled up on the ottoman
you rise to the kitchen to make it.
As you return with two steaming mugs
I prop myself up with a pair of pillows.
You climb back into bed next to me.
We sip our drinks in sumptuous silence.
We may or may not turn on the radio
and gradually start to plan our day.
Moments like this are what I live for –
a softness we’ve worked so hard to gain;
a sense of stillness possible only in light
of the graft and grind that came before.
Dark towns may heap up on the horizon
but we’ll shut the window. We’ll lock the door.
[this poem is a response to Philip Larkin's famous
piece 'Talking in Bed', which you can read here]