Column 21

A wonderfully rich poem with a fantastic and mysterious title this week. It’s by Alan John Stubbs from his brilliantly titled collection The Lost box of Eyes, published by The Onslaught Press.

Blackberries and Ice cream Jazz

Waiting alongside the railway line
flowers opened on a branch, butterflies
alighting – Blue Morphos – as fine as
Gentians, finer, delicate as moths caught in long

tongues of light, tongues as long as the fat vase
of their bodies – sipping at the flowers
——————————————– of pullman coaches
arms outstretched
———————-are stretched towards a refusal.

here there are no charms or lucky heathers
———————————————–hemmed into rough skirts
or into the strange geometries of
———————–wind disturbed leaves busied up
————————————–against great coats.

There are ears like bent thumbs
————————————-waiting to be filled with the cries
of barrow boys

of hmmm hmmmm suits
———————with bright red ties.

The street is red, not burgundy, but a hot powder is dust
———————–to the subway
——————————————–of impudence
of blossoms pink as errant corn,

when the river is blue as cold.


Used with kind permission of Alan John Stubbs and The Onslaught Press.