So many winter poems
Angels and voices
in those infinite skies
suspended like twigs
over ice-green trees
behind the silver birch
above eaves and roofs –
a lichen language
only understood by the crowing child,
who, escaping indoor’s flashing screens
watches sky’s empty theatre ignite with stars –
Kay and Gerda’s glittering sleigh is whizzing past.
Arms extended to greet the cold, cocooned
within the sheltering fables of his wintry make-believe.
He escapes wind’s icicles.
Inside the overheated house
grownups chew finger-ends,
bite their lips
and tap each dawning line of every new poem
onto the lit-up screens.
This is the Crisis of their time
and they must let the algorithms spill out,
up and out of their system.
It’s your next session of messy play –
just allow the app to crash
and put away the print
the parts of speech
the current issue of Poetry Review.
Leave Unfinished Business.
Listen instead to the thrum of blood inside your head
that inner pounding of the heart,
allow your pen to play by ear, watch it self-indulge –
the exotic prosodies,
irresistible the gravitational pull to the black hole
where the last surviving band of poets
play out their compulsions
pulse them into the zone of singing singularity.
Julie Sampson edited Lady Mary Chudleigh’s Selected Poems, 2009 (Shearsman Books) and a poetry collection, Tessitura, was published by Shearsman, in 2014. It Was When It Was When It Was was published by Dempsey & Windle, in 2018. Sampson’s work was highly commended in the Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize, in 2019.