Grave Marker, Whitby Abbey
To touch a Saxon cross, make your hand
a star and arrange it to each rune with love.
Here was one who felt such slackened
feldspar through that world of stone —
eyes narrowed, intent to the fault line,
a seam of rock. Once it took such time
to score or scratch or deftly nick
these half-familiar marks where now
you strain to place your fingerprint
to fix a dream blade’s dance,
trace the grit and grain — how the will
to rough out lives or interlace
straight lines became.
Grave Marker, Whitby Abbey by Michael Brown was highly commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2017) judged by Abegail Morley.
I pad about the house from room to room, a sullen ghost
doing its damnedest to bed down for the night.
Noise follows me like dust. The kids have multiplied.
In the kitchen I skulk through walls, softly become obsolete.
A radio is turned-up too loud. In my head I tune it out.
The dog catches my eye, seems to empathise.
A sudden shriek from the living room —
on TV someone is howling life at such a pitch
it seems grown men no longer compromise
or find the place to hide inside their skin.
“our Father” by Michael Brown was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (August 2017) judged by Oz Hardwick
Michael writes from Middlesbrough.