Thursday, 1 November 2007


One of my winning poems from the Warwick Laureateship Poetry Competition 2007:


Mid-September, and crane flies
are everywhere, haunting my kitchen
with delicate legs splayed
like a parachutist’s, gripping the air.

Soon my house is alive with shadows, black
under the bulb’s glare. These
are the terrifying Daddy-Long-Legs
of my childhood, an insect
straight out of the mind’s dark spaces,
insubstantial bodies
caught in my hair, delirious in flight
against the light’s tremor
or perched long-legged on a whitewashed wall,
tiny Buddhas deep in prayer.

I fasten windows, lock all the doors,
yet still that pitched flight,
vibrato of wings, is audible
until, quite suddenly, October thickens
and they disappear.

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