St Swithun’s Lament


You stand, my constant, the bitter sweet remnants

of what it once meant to be a child; so wildly

unafraid of collapse. And at the distant altar of

Butter Cross, a musician’s cap obscures his eyes while he

prays to sandstone and granite for starry nights.

Few stop but a peach-stone boy mines his trouser pockets for

old coins and does not  yet realise that this is enough.

To keep the taste of steel in cavities between sett milk teeth

long into this evening. What is art if not the craft of having

absolutely none of the answers and creating

something anyway?


I buried him with stained and shattered glass by the

north wall like you’d asked all those years ago.

I must confess I’ve never much appreciated quiet or its

confrontations until I saw them written in chalk there,

upon lamenting hilltop, where I can still hear the

melody of that Pink Floyd song we listened to the first time.

Perhaps my worst kept secret is how much I love to view

this city by only looking up. An achy, sacrificial neck for

a memory of perfect Caen. The first place I loved to tears

and the only thing that is still here for me to write about

in present tense.



After “Of Mutability” by Jo Shapcott.

The trees are beginning to lose their ochre

milk teeth again and the clock in the clogged

artery of High Street reminds me I ought to go

home soon but I think I’d rather wait a little

longer. It seems the older I get, the more I

catch myself thinking in these solitary

moments of the accelerated speed at which

my cells will start dying with each passing

second and it’s true, while I’m hesitant

to admit, that I’m starting to grow frightened.


Perhaps for no reason but that’s yet to be

seen and I don’t know how I’m already

approaching eighteen when the woman I am

told I will someday become is still two parts

hypothesis and one part certain. But it’s best

not to dwell for being alone with my thoughts

tends to breed only melancholic confession

and I don’t want to trouble these impasto clouds

I’ve confided in this evening any more

than I already have. I would turn back,

if it were that easy.