Callum Coles

Three Poems


Calling from a country house there the rain was clear and sharp and old,
like the people I came from who have their boots here, they walk the red clay here.
There is sickly sweet singing somewhere close, the pub is dark, the roads hidden by
a mess of wire wrapping round fenceposts and animals, the ghosts of animals.
Dogs from twenty years ago still wander the lanes. I saw a man today
who had a skull but no neck; I heard another crying like threatened geese.
I got all this down and then the rain drove me in, I tapped this deep wire to call out
to a real place, to scream that I don’t mind sleep but the morning here
is the kind that kills me awake so if I disappear, and you do not come knocking,
I won’t be in the softened earth, I will not be quietly lying in a redone kitchen
or staring wild-eyed from the windows of a snug, I’ll have vanished cleanly
away, though I beg you, please, keep the back door unlocked.

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