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Stephen Emmerson

Two poems


The ice doesn’t melt
Immediately in the sun
And as I boil the water
In the pan, you look out
Over town, your eyes catch
A butterfly and a squirrel
In a bare elm. Your tear
Ducts redden but nothing
Comes, and the pale light sparks
In everything water.
The cars parked outside
Red green yellow blue
Are adept at interpreting
A feeling. In the sink the
Dishes pile up, this time
They may never be cleaned
They are crusted and
Enamelled with dirt
And the tap drips
And the milk sours
But cut flowers still bloom

7m Starlings

Spider graphs          Venn diagrams              Heartbeats
           Irradiates   and    waves
   Tumbles and banks cohesively
Flocked barrels and bell jars billowing, smokescreen frequencies
                                                 Pulsing magnetically, iron filings
         Intervolved and involved, following wings, groups of 7s and 7s upon
      Sevens, suddenly shapes. Funnels of black ink, blacklets of
Afternoon light, denser and darker, cyclones of pressed feathers, thickening
And thinning
                   Swelling and bruising, dot matrix ocean, climbing and ballooning
             In rhymed couplets of sun catching underside motion.
                         I smoked, watching clouds of it turn into birds
                             And they passed, swallowing their shadows
                              Over the old wet concrete factory speckled in rain
                             They collapsed into rape fields
                          As a harrier jet scorched overhead
                       And spires on lay lines
         Stretched into nothing
                           And smoke stacks
       And playgrounds burnt into blue and grey
                                I stood there staring, long after they were gone
                               The moon red and huge like a deep voice
                                     My heart pounding
                                            The pines toing and froing
                         Their needles popping on water
       Like toy pianos in the distance
                        The music slowly comes
                           Armed with static and strings
           As a car radio
                                          Somewhere over the flood plain
                                     Fades away

Stephen Emmerson

Stephen Emmerson

Stephen Emmerson  lives in the North of England. His publications include the broadsides Mad Song and Villains from Silent Films - his work has most recently appeared in Great Works, Poetry Salzburg Review and Spine. An occasional musician, Stephen worked with Michelle Scally-Clarke on her last album She Is, which was published by Route alongside a book of the same name. Stephen has worked as a cook, a chef, a picture framer, a labourer, a soldier, a welders mate, a telesales ‘executive’, a customer service rep, a door to door salesman, an order picker, an admin assistant, and a receptionist. He has also worked at an abattoir, a recycling plant, and a bottle factory.

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