Poems by Thomas Morris & Ruthie Hartnoll.
We had a wealth of diverse and interesting poetry submitted for our competition with IdeasTap, and below are the runners-up. The three winning poems can be found in the forthcoming clinic III, due this Autumn.
I hate it here,
eating this cardboard cow
wondering what ghost of childhood brought me here.
I hate everyone with their terrible children
and their greasy potato faces,
florescent walls dull me with unwavering kitsch
and I look bacon life.
I finish in a slump,
catching my breath in forced peace.
I stand ingloriously, for nothing, to leave.
Wanting to spit curses
saying “you are a well without water,
you vampirous horde.”
But I am home now
and less of anything at all.
They tell us that your skin is leaking.
It’s seeping and ruining the best of you.
The parts I used to hold in the queue at the bank,
in line at the butchers, waiting for Mum at the bus stop.
They’ve bundled you in bandage and quilt.
Swathed your limbs to your sides so that a wave is impossible,
an acknowledgement redundant.
Visiting before I’ve caught you looking at the family picture,
saying our names like prayers,
until we were just sounds.
Until we were just names.
Until the parts you held
were just a feeling,
a kind of warmth in the palm of your hand.
Now you’re concentrated into a heartbeat,
a skeletal face hollowed to an impression.
Almost nothing left but a slow yakking, a cackling
released from your throat
that leaves me petrified.
It takes minutes to realise you’re laughing.
That a name is as useful as the sound it makes.