Roddy Williams – The Atheist Poet

b/w picture (2008)

there are sirens in the distance
weaving through the night like slinkies.
in the morning there’ll be magpies
they pretend to be machine-guns.
ack-ack-acking from the cockerel
on the church’s weathervane.

and the sirens rollercoaster
through their sea of auto soundtrack
till they sink into the slow beat
of the lorries on the westway
like a tide against the concrete
shaking gravel to the pulse.

with the dawn the magpies chatter
of the sirens that were drownded
like a story told to downy
chicks, a form of preparation
painting glamour onto darkness
which is all that we can do.

published in 63 Channels  Spring/Summer 2008 print issue

It’s very uplifting to go through poetry that was published some years ago, and which has been forgotten by everyone, including me.

I quite like this, reading it afresh. It has the rhythm of the magpies.


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