Two poems by Jack Little

Swimming Lessons

Hard as stone, Mexico City
I measure you in cruise liners
far from the sea and hands wider
than the whole of Northumberland

grasping at clanking locks, the cats
in bin liners are lost in their own
little world – warm and burly the night
light sea, I swear they dance

and what if the rooftop was not to keep
rain out? But to be bathed on, sun bathed
washed in light, watch the ants swim by
I swear this is an ocean and I am learning to swim
(first published in Wasafiri 30th anniversary edition)
Night sky
for Don Cellini

Beyond my window, the sky swirls night black
shadows, I trace my reflection in the windowpane
before turning hastily to bed. Puzzle pieces, dream
formations, images of the moon at different latitudes:

            Caracas, Buenos Aires, Montevideo,
           Panamá and São Paolo

my mind awaits them all, the visits of feather capped
Gods of heavy ancientness, the smell of other
worlds that cling to my bedclothes: the heat of night
and journeys to far away temples of unknown Sun people…

            I await Bogotá
            I await Lima,
            Barranquilla, Brasilia, Managua, Bucaramanga…

Asunción… and on and on – all memories learnt
from news stories, a crack of light breaking the sky
and reminding me of the classroom globes of childhood.
(first published in Myths of the Near Future, Spring 2013)

Jack Little is a British poet and editor based in Mexico City where he has lived for the past six years. He has had poems published in several UK and international magazines and anthologies, including Wasafiri, The Lampeter Review and The Poet’s Quest for God (Eyewear, 2015). He is the founding editor of The Ofi Press and his first poetry pamphlet will be published by Eyewear in autumn 2015.