Poems for the Future

The End

Finally, hell rusted over.

The polymers don’t hold hands anymore

Because it’s harder to get away.

There is no medicine left. There are no mouths left.

At its slow end

when the sun throws out its arms

It will be disappointed –

There is nothing left here to die.

Which was, of course, expected.

It was known that by the time

the sun swallowed the earth

there would be no life, no life at all.

But it is only tomorrow,

and yesterday we were buying socks

and eating steak,

and now the ground is colourless

because there is no one left

to see, choose or name colours.

It has been so long

since the last lantern went up,

so long since the last button was pressed.

But it is only tomorrow.

Hell is all rusted over.

And it is only tomorrow.




The Good Night

I found rag rug d’other day, black wit earth,

bu’ mamma made m’ burn it;

she hate things made for ornament.


function is everything,

ornament bad luck.

we don’t need bad luck.


Tilly’s bear was et by a mouse,

an’ I said tha’ if I had bin a mouse

I would’a et her bear too.


Mamma slap me,

tell me t’ be kind to our own

and burn tha’ filthy rug.


Is bad luck. bad luck.



The Afternoon Spent Forgetting

I found my trowel in the garden

under the curving buttocks of a white stone Venus

where it had been lashed with rain.

I’m all mixed up at the moment.

All mixed up and forgetting things.

I’ve already boiled the kettle three times today

and made no tea yet.

I’m always forgetting things.


I decided to darn a sock;

I’ve been feeling sentimental.

The mushroom was rough with use.

When I found it tucked away on a shelf,

I cupped it with the tenderness of memory,

and its dust gathered in the crinkles of my palm.

A new pairs costs less than the thread I used

to fix them.



at my age

I can afford to buy the mending thread

Or to leave the central heating on.

I can’t imagine

to be a little bird or creature outside –

only other bodies to warm you

when they’re passing.


I need the heat;

the cold

is cracking my skin.

My hands are raw.

This morning when the weather man said

“Storm Edna will arrive hard and heavy on Saturday”

my knuckles bled,

as I rubbed them together.



The Pregnant Morning

The doctor said I would feel heavy

and I do, of course I do –

heavy with the weight of growing bones

and wet ballooning organs.


This morning I sat down too quickly

but luckily

we’ve padded the sofa and seats

with cushions and blankets and towels,

so some hard breaths restored me, restored us,

and I curled up like a buffalo.


I was brought a tea in a floral mug

And the china was an unyielding bolt

in the midst of my heap, my fabric nest.

And so thin when compared to me.


The television light made an aura around it

as I rested the mug on the globe of my belly.

On the screen,

a tree wasn’t shedding its sticky pods

because it was too warm.

When the chicks fledged in its branches

their wings filled with the stickiness and pods

still there, too warm,

and, wings heavy, they fell,

to starve by the tarred roots.


The mug rises in jolts

with hiccups from my womb.

Blue veins trail like hidden rivers

On my belly, my globe of life.

And like an animal, I am hungry,

my little animal is hungry, we are hungry.


I am hungry so often.



The Opening at Dawn

Soon, the door that goes out

to the back garden, all new,

will open. And the garden!

I can’t wait!


The pond was my idea,

but Elisa picked the fish that will live there.

We filled it with things

like a pocket


but not,

because who’d want to live in a pocket?

You haven’t seen it, you silly.

It’s in the shape of a flat sliver peanut


and the gravel is all colours.

We’ve put pots out for flowers,

the flowers that bees like –

so that they can get pollen,


for honey.

Mamma says it’s important

because soon bees might be gone;

there were no flowers, no pollen.


Oh, I can’t wait!

The garden, the pond like a peanut,

the bees – all fuzzling under the sun.

I can’t wait!