Two poems by MOYA CANNON


You will find them easily,

there are so many –

near roundabouts, by canal locks,

by quaysides –

haphazard, passionate, weathered,

like something a bird might build,

a demented magpie

who might bring blue silk flowers,

real red roses,

an iron sunflower,

a Christmas wreath,

wind chimes,

photographs in cellophane,

angels, angels, angels

and hearts, hearts, hearts

and we know

that this is the very place

which the police fenced off with tape,

that a church was jammed

with black-clad young people

and that under the flowers and chimes

is a great boulder of shock

with no one able to shoulder it away

to let grief flow and flow and flow,

like dense tresses of water

falling over a high weir.


Late at low tide,

at the tip of a green promontory

which brimmed with lark song and plover cry,

I lay down on a slab of damp granite

encrusted with limpets and barnacles;

laid my head down in that rough company

and heard the whispers

of a million barnacles,

the grumbling of a hundred limpets

and behind them, the shushing

of the world’s one

gold-struck, mercury sea.

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