Sarajevo – Eileen Carney Hulme
November, this city
the air full of ghosts,
leaves on graves, a pain
not mine, but felt
in silence, in voices,
in the space between rain.
weigh heavy underfoot
as a lone street saxophonist
plays the bones of lost lives.
The End Of September – Andrew Breckenridge
The hollyhocks are now just standing sticks
rush hour ushers day towards the edges
and the sky dribbles light aircraft engines
and your songs whistle on lower flight paths
I pick them up and cup them to my lugs
for luck and love and light in winter months.
Genetic Memory – Beth Brooke
My mother made me out of desert skies and
the cactus walls of mountain villages;
she sang me the swell of the sea, the call
of the azan and the scuttling of beetles.
I thought you would be chalk hills,
oak trees and all the layered secrets of the
Jurassic earth: a man of green fields, cloudy skies.
What passed from my blood into yours,
that draws you now to my Arabia, hungry
for the taste of Arabic on your tongue?
To the London Pigeon – Imogen Cooper
There’s more than this, I want to say.
A streetlamp combs the thinning hairs
of dusk, and you hop wing-clipped
under its light. Your shadow pollutes you.
The launderette will circle through
the night; sluice the city’s fug from
countless coats and wring them dry.
You reach a little further for a flake
of pavement pastry-crumb and, just for
a moment, the moon makes you a dove.