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7 November 2018updated 25 Jul 2021 6:27am

Notes for a Poem About Love

A new poem by Janet Murray.

By Janet Murray

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.

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Janet Murray grew up in Lancashire and currently lives in Sheffield. She won this year’s Fish Publishing poetry prize.

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This article appears in the 07 Nov 2018 issue of the New Statesman, Revenge of the nation state