Two poems by Adam Warne

Never Force Them to Swim

The boy was a rat which is why I loved him,
the third of three vermin born to an x-ray technician.
Always short of breath,
twitching his nose,
climbing and chewing on ropes,
he worked without success at Boots
until he bit the manager
and had to move into a caravan
at the foot of his brother-in-law’s garden
        where ants spurt
        dedicated to
        their work of
                        bringing small
                        heaps of soil
                        from under
                the garden to
                make room for
                each other.
Do ants ever really love each other?
On holiday in Paris,
my bicycle was mangled by the bus.
I told myself, never again!
I fled the city.
I led a lonely life at the vineyard.
The wine tasted of antifreeze
but with its help
I briefly married the rat
until feeling pestered by his presence
I left him for an unmown verge near Lowestoft.
        Waiting for
        the divorce
        it’s not so much
                        the place
                        I love as
                        being here when
                the rain comes
                and knocks the petals
                from the poppies.

I squat to
be closer to
        lift softly
        each broad
        broccoli leaf
        to look
for the yellow
clusters of
eggs left by
                cabbage whites
                totter through
                the air in pairs
over the ditch
and above the veg
       patch I scrape
       away not
       too roughly
               leaving behind
               on the leaf
               a residue that
darkens the green
the vehement
would consume
Adam Warne is a poet from Suffolk. His pamphlet Suffolk Bang was published by Gatehouse Press in 2018. He has an MA in Creative Writing from UEA and a PhD in Creative Writing from Roehampton. He can be found on Twitter at @adamwarnepoet