Poem of the month




My fifth Poem of the Month is also from Surfacing (2012, Cinnamon Press). Words cannot describe....



June 2018: Elegy for Betty Hutton (Surfacing, Cinnamon Press, 2012)

April 2018: The Horse's Mouth (1976, Anglesey Material, Rex Collings, 1980)

March 2018: Feedback from the Assessment Centre (Surfacing, Cinnamon Press, 2012)

February 2018: Patchworks

(1976, publ. Anglesey Material, Rex Collings, 1980; lightly revised 2018)






Don’t get me wrong,

some of my best friends

are words,

especially my own.

There are more of them about


than there used to be:

they stick to your face

and drop to the ground

with odd numbers of legs

protesting at the air.


They don’t string together

on the page and stay there:

like birds on the wire

they abandon you, autumn

can come any time.


There’s no knowing whither

they’ll be bound: perhaps

to the forgotten crossroads

where an adult’s words

manhandled you aside


as you tried

to describe the thunder.

There’s no ceiling to belief

in their power: what they say

goes before they wither.


There is so much hurt in words,

there are not enough

eyes in the world

to flinch from it,

those eyes lit up


that are looking hungrily

for words to do justice to them.

The words are greater in number

than the maggot or the starling,

than the sum of meaning.


Friends tell me, sit and listen

to what’s there where none

penetrate, but they do,

through cracks and keyholes

and channelled down the wind


in the grass where I lie.

It’s a wise man

who can turn away from them.

Even as I look up

the clouds are heavy with little ones.




© Steve Griffiths 2012

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