Two Poems from Grun-tu-molani

The Sky

there was a uniform
inactive grey,
except when stared at
through a chainlink fence;

those who could
kept dogs
to be led around by,
affecting blindness

and pitied the students
of ancient languages
their wealth
of particles. No one thought

outshone the mica;
once the chancellors
learned to tweet
the incident

turned to harmless fun,
the spice of banter
hustled into sachets
stored in one’s top pocket just in case.



As I approach the man in the painting starts to cry
over what happened
with the little crickly

crackly sound
a dead fly
makes when you pick it up.

Poor bloke,
tied to instances
with a bluish-white blob for an elbow…
It’s about time
he put the kettle on
or had a thought
about a woman’s lips.

The fly
begins to fizz
in the trash.


If you could paint
the sunlight on the wall
your whole life long
and never grow
a business, or bored;
breathe some clouds onto the blue…
But here comes
the middle of things.


We’ve been waiting for some time
– but for what if not more of the same?
Trying to appear
predatory and also faintly bored,
like the wallpaper at Wilde’s remark;
some discover art for art’s sake
after not before
they lose it all. Some are the trashed fly
and others, the middle of things. . .
most are brought aboard
by work and love
before they grasp what they already have.
Don’t you cry before it happens.



is the Keasby Research Fellow at Selwyn College, Cambridge. His first book of verse, Grun-tu-molani, is published by Bloodaxe.