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On National Poetry Day Jo Bell tasked me to write a poem about being on a train and travelling from London to Manchester and *not* being able to go to poetry events.  I'd just done my first day at the Barbican and was commuting back home.  This is what came out.


Across England there are homes.
In pubs and streets and library waiting 
Places I could turn up, call my home
where people stand unmiked
paper quaking
some performing
their own and others’ tales.

I am not.
parts of me are scattered
in booklets across the country.
My three-lined letter from love.
In cafes under pepper pots,
between the butter and jam in the fridge.
Part of me has found a home, there
waiting for another to pick it up
take it back to theirs.
Poetry Found and given refuge.

I am hanging off the racks in shops
in Blackwells, Sheffield
and Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden.
My heart is in Cornerhouse, 
I am there waiting, just as I live in Paris, too
in Palais de Tokyo.
In Germany and Australia, I will grow
in a house not my own.
A house I’ll never go.

Copies of me on recycled paper
hiding between the binds of page.
Open me.
Drink the pixelinks of me.

Even now,
as I travel from London, north
a pocket of my darkness flies 
from Ann Arbor to Manchester
just waiting …
secretly hiding …
a Shadow Doesn’t Like Friends talking …

My homes are everywhere.


◄ If

Modern Love by Max Wallis ►


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