Two poems by Richard Skinner

 
Two poems from the light user scheme
 

the vague notion of authorship

Japanese scientists have recently confirmed my appearance, they say
that the papaya is not a cousin of passion fruit, but of the cauliflower,
that a cow is more akin to whales than camels.

As a foundling, I can now choose my inheritance—the Great Dane
and chihuahua share the same ancestor.
Roses are not like saxifrages, but buckthorns and nettles.
 
 
a klaxon

The train leaves Blackheath, lurches under wet branches, round dead litter,
bare walls. People drift on and off at stations.

Just outside London Bridge, a jet crosses the sun, and,
for an instant, I’m sure I imagine it.

But last night, I am certain of it,
I woke and saw you staring at me, like a searchlight
that finds the wrecked plane, then moves on.
 
 
Richard Skinner has published three novels, all with Faber & Faber. His poetry collection, the light user scheme, is published by Smokestack.