This poem is taken from Stand 226, 18(2) June - August 2020.

Jos Smith Seven Poems
from Refugia

After The Green Children (12th century)


Part of arrival is grief.

It was a relief to feel the little sequestered
fire he curated

alight beneath the awful clock.


Stood on the deep pile rug for the hosts,
one    great    blush    beached her
on the edge of a sacred roar –

too tall, too heavy,sweaty,scaly   unkempt,
too fingered-and-toed, too there

on the edge, but always ebbing away
through the gut’s soft
die-back of micro-flora.


Keep shtum
    keep every burning, foreign thing
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