One Night Without Incident

Freak July mists blurred all from Portsmouth to Reading
in a late summer sky turned wholly unfit for bombing,
as Luftschiff 31 finally broke free of the cloud-tops.

The radium on dials ghosted the first row of pilots.
Woellert, who dreamt constantly of falling airships,
briefly paused scraping the frost off his glovetips.

Panned out, it looked like the belly of a cresting whale,
or you in the bathsteam, my love, your face draining pale
each time our unborn paddles against your abdomen.

You know how the Hindenberg fell, and how hydrogen
can suddenly fireball. There were only so many times
Woellert saw damn with a full cargo bay over Mannheim.


was born in Derry, Northern Ireland. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2006, an Irish Art's Council Bursary in 2009. His work has been published broadly in anthologies and journals, and his collection The Salt Harvest was published in 2011. It was shortlisted for the Short Award for Best First Collection in 2012.