Two poems by Michael Brown

Water lilies

We are watching the sun’s slow dive
into the Wirral. You want to touch
the water-stars of its last light.
Soon it will be time for us
to separate .

Outside this frame of hush
that weightless walk back
from the Tate —
where I had wanted to fall
inside the green water lilies
that lay like time
or surface tension.
Do you remember them
caught in paint,
their lawlessness of oil ?

And here a ferry from Ireland
skulks home to Birkenhead,
its gentle wake of damage
some force fetched to land.

Welcome to Liverpool

I want you to stay
like this. In the time
that remains before the train —
I must hold, hold this.
 
(placed third in the York Poetry Competition, 2015, judged by Carole Bromley).
 
 
The Exhibits at Helmsley Castle

Arrowheads that pierced an armoured man in 1644.
A bodkin tooled to perforate a civil creature’s heart.
Ochred iron earths (thunderballs) lobbed into the heat
of a siege and then there’s these —
monstrous keys for unremembered Keeps
their cleft teeth outlandishly unique
and unfeasible.

Ludicrous, then, that I think of you here.
Your soft turmoil in this green dead world —
that smile that has locked me in its strange history —
Just what are you looking at now?
 
(published in the Live From Worktown 2015 Anthology )
 
 
Michael Brown’s work is widely published. In 2014 he won the Untold London Brazen Valentine Competition. Recently he has collaborated with Maria Isakova Bennett and The Walker Gallery in Liverpool for Light Night. His pamphlet, Undersong (published in 2014) is available from Eyewear Publishing. @Mike_Brown65