"Posthumous": a new poem by Olivia Byard


Out here, far from New Doggerland's
London, where the pale long-tower gleam
trails wavering weed beneath
knifing boat keels, and dull bells
clank and moan when Westerlies blow;
                  strangers may climb
up through rubble and purple-blushed
winter bushes, to this derelict place
above the new Thames Bay's
steep shores.
                  If they come,
up the path's ruin to the peeled
red-specked door, ajar and askew,
junk-mail dust blowing behind them,
and search along the corridor
to my dim room, they'll find wires,
tangled and gnawed, and hulking plastic;
mute, as silverfish swarm
bloated pages.
                  In my flicked-through
notebooks, mildewed and torn,
they'll see only tiny biro threads,
the broken veins of ancient paper's skin.



This article first appeared in the 12 March 2012 issue of the New Statesman, The weaker sex