A new poem by London-based poet Morgan Bach.
I march diligently
to sunshine in the park
and turning golden.
A woman breathes fire
by the folly framing her
like a personal door to hell.
Conkers are pitched from high boughs
to break and give up fruit, a spire
emergent from the baring trees
the endless rustle of pigeons
searching in detritus underfoot.
Autumn is a loud season.
Through the wall the neighbour cries
no, no, then yes. I am a constant ache
where I hinge. I’m unsure
what season my body is in,
losing the hours, thinking to deadline.
Already I crave new foliage
my will browning round the edges.
I must become a self-sustaining
ecosystem. Must rebuild dams
to equalise my impulses,
must hope there is something living
back there in the hills, and running.
Must prepare for the conditions by which
when winter comes
I will step onto the ice.
I gather with friends and strangers
in the long grass of the heath
bottles of fizz in our coat pockets.
The city offers something to compensate us
for our empty fear, to placate us
and the plague-dead we stand upon.
There’s no unburdened ground.
We murmur, reduced to pre-verbal excitement
nerves licked by the smell of gun powder,
sparks collapsing back on you.
Delight in mass dumbness,
at bursting thistles and silver jellyfish rain
screeching ghoul-whirlers like enraged sperm
shot into the sky. Yes little atoms it is right
to hurtle into the future screaming,
to cry at the unknown.
The tornado of stasis I feel
facing loss upon loss. To burn things
to gather in fields and burn things,
to in our thousands ignite it all
not for the failure
but for the attempt.
For days the dark is filled with booming
and peripheral glimpses of fire.
The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books.