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500 Terry Francois St. San Francisco, CA 94158

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a few poems to read....

Winning poem in  the  2017 Myslexia unpublished poets prize

 

Ann’s shed

 

bags of cement, rusty poles, a rook of hoes, spades and shears. ivy

growing through a crack in the door, Grow-Bags, rolled up carpet strips,

a Helping-Hand pick-up stick, plastic sheets and bamboo canes;

used each season that comes around, stuck in a punctured yellow bucket.

a worn-out cushion, tangled wire, a Spear & Jackson tool (I can’t describe)

3 coloured and leaky watering cans. the first summer flies; all novice,

all weak, tough shadows grown long in the day, and here - a coat

I should recognize. sweet peas straggling the roof, defying a rickety trellis, 

the neighbour's cooking drifting in, another roast, another day fro rest, a jar

of shells from an unremembered beach, a barking dog, a cobweb rocking

between window and frame; its threads spanning more pots than her garden would need,

and the gardener herself; bedded down in her purple room with palliative bed,

a catheter, a morphine supply, a disease. the window always ajar (to breathe,

to breathe, to take in the last of all she would leave) listening only to birds

to voices now, and the wind playing each individual leaf. and Ann, 

still asking how everyone is, whilst softly growing her own death.

A short-listed poem ( York festival 2018, judged by Andy Macmillan ) 

couple. [in a box] 

 

a lasso in the corner steadies our heads.      a blind-folding  lid   

flat-packs four limbs into dark.   you left grease rings    under my  eyes,    

 

and at the top of my ribs.   can’t see you    any more.    there’s  no  tick   tick    tick    

to measure hearts by.     (don’t know if i            )  there’s nothing to count  

 

with.   my arm  has ants.  we are pulling  short slitted breaths     out 

from under a door   we have  imagined      over there.     how many small hours   

 

left?      or squashed?    you press on me  the way   rain-drenched cardboard 

sticks  to the  streets.      are we are not   finished    yet?         your legs 

 

kill.        minutes    hang    like washing    that never quite dries  

in the cold.    nothing will burst     into light.   they say  it was  us

        

who emptied the box           took its cube of oxygen   to our  lungs