Two Poems by Chris Hardy


The ceiling crashed down
and the house revealed
its oak-lathe skeleton,
easily ripped from
the joists and
floor of the attic,

an empty skull,
warm in summer,
cold in winter,
lidding us
beneath black slate
pinned with nails
that rust, let slip.

As thin and strong
as cranium
but cracked by
a hundred years
of rain, snow, sun,
slow blows.

We patch our house
until, like our own
bodies it is
entirely changed
but still displays
its number
like a name

for the post man,
who knows it well,
his life
as well as ours,
solid, heavy, empty
as the air.


Byzantine Vespers in the Strand,
swinging censer, smoke, plain harmony.
I do not understand the Greek
and if I did would not believe it
any more than the same assertions
in an English church,
with a millennium of cold, tall
majesty insisting they be accepted.

Knowing light falling through windows
into the air is as close to God
as I will get, knowing it will never
answer, listen or insist.


Chris Hardy’s fourth collection is, ‘Sunshine at the end of the world’ (Indigo Dreams). A guitarist and a poet Chris Hardy consistently hits the right note, never hits a false note. (Roger McGough). He is in LiTTLe MACHiNe, The greatest music and poetry band in the world. (Carol Ann Duffy).

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