Three Poems by Iain Twiddy

Chest

I guess it makes sense,
given even one evening
of sun filling the channel,
the poplars loftily washing,

the mousy wind breezing
through the full-up barley
like the wake of an unroped boat,
and the wood pigeon somewhere

echoing itself, like a pebble
– as if to tell the depth –
rippling a pool,
and the light miles to go before home,

I guess it makes sense
I should find my skull
so flush with that first ever river,
it feels like the richest

of all the night-blooming jewels
in this lidless chest,
the whole static black
ocean of Tōkyō.


The Volume of Rain

Why should the gentle rain
make the streets so loud –
make the traffic crash and shatter,
blam patchily on, make wave

after wave fizz and slash
rabidly as if at a shingle strand,
smack all day back and forth
off the flanking concrete?

Is it that water
even so shallow amplifies?
Shouldn’t it swamp the sound,
pull it under, drown it out?

I can’t explain it, clearly,
nor anything deeper;
like the way when memory streams,
it wipes everything out

but its own traffic,
which savagely magnifies
the fact of the world
more intimately now without.


Raven

Is that how it feels,
people in love,
like the raven
streaked by the cold of high cloud;

or is that the distance
between me
and how I perceive
it might be;

like you know the way
Vikings knew they were close
if the raven didn’t return

could have equally been
– the bird still breasting the wet –
no way of telling for sure.

 

Iain Twiddy studied literature at university, and lived for several years in northern Japan. His poems have been published in The Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, The London Magazine, The Moth and elsewhere.

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