26/02/2022
26 Feb 2022

Vlad the Invader

26 Feb 2022

Vlad the Invader

Life

Poems
Jonathan Steffen
Our Fragile Dead

They do not walk the world, our fragile dead: They do not stalk our streets or pace our floors; They do not stand behind unopened doors, Rehearsing all the words that went unsaid. They cannot walk our world as we would walk: They cannot choose to see a much-missed place, They cannot choose to see a much-loved face; They cannot seek a quiet spot to talk. And so we have to walk the world for them: We have to seek the sacred places out, To pace the lonely ways of loss and doubt, And stumble clumsily to Bethlehem.

William Wootten
Limestone

The statues have been getting wetter and wetter. Always standing (they have no beds), they darken In the downpour. Even if we scrape the moss and lichen From their features as it comes, they won’t get better, But will grow more nimbus-like until the day It is impossible to be quite sure Who everybody is. The only cure For being them is the persistent way They stay just as they are and let that leave them. Faces, drapery and fingers, all That once looked liked ourselves, erodes or breaks, And none of this, we say, will ever grieve them.

Claire Booker
My Part in the Revolution

He was from the north and always right. Bet you come from some market town in Surrey, he muttered darkly over our first year Poor Law essays. I was dangerously short on street cred.   Gift-wrapping hardbacks in a mock-Tudor bookshop deep in the privet-lands of suburbia, I ruminated tactics, just as Lenin must have done whilst posing as a Finnish farmer.   As braziers burned up north, and people rioted, I suffered the nit-picking gaze of the manageress, whose laser eyes and bouffant blonde hair rang bells.

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