A blue rooster in Trafalgar Square snorts
out colour through his bill
slicing mist more bravely than any sun.
Jasmine starbursts scattering
a November hedge, a lonely blackbird
singing at dusk, harbingers
more poignant than roses
in summer, swallows doing their thing. And —
St Anne’s arm holding the Virgin Mary on her lap,
a friend who rubs the hollow between
shoulder blades, the scarf that Cary ties
round Ingrid’s bare midriff,
a hand that plucks stray food from a chin,
the brush painting a swathe
of green round that brutal nude.
Janet Murray grew up in Lancashire and currently lives in Sheffield. She won this year’s Fish Publishing poetry prize.
This article appears in the 07 Nov 2018 issue of the New Statesman, Revenge of the nation state