Gram Joel Davies – four poems


The petrol station
is rain-slick, and joyous
as Ringo’s drawl.
They lock doors after midnight,
just a yellow hatch.

The pump ratchets price
like the lives of the drowned.
When it hits fifty quid,
I get enlightenment.

Not with acid and sitars –
just so much fossil pressure,
glutted off my shoes.
I could go anywhere, do
anything, tonight.

I go to the counter,
ask for a ham sarnie.
My voice clangs through the comm
like a submarine captain.
The kid looks up, into just my face.


She holds light, like smoke-
machine smoke, her face

When she looks up, her mouth
makes to swallow
white noise.

A drum begins in my perineum,
conga skin beating.
Eyelids strobe.

In a smash of chords,
the band comes
to her voice.


Capricious, looking everywhere
………Half-hopes lick her
pulse, revealed in bungled buttons,
mishandled change, passed
with barely brushing fingers,
………I did this – with half-meant glances
from the top of an eight-year incline,
and now, made dumb by asking of myself,
………is she too young?


My powers stopped working
at the river.
Some of us had crossed

to the big stump but the current
beat my headway.
My powers never were for swimming.

I drifted to the weir
and did not bother the adults:

magic is to make things safe
without speaking.
A man stripped and dived.

I was hoisted on a towel
up a nettled bank. My skin
burned twice.

Gram Joel Davies lives in Devon. His recent poetry can be found in Bare Fiction, Envoi and Under the Radar.

He writes and reads with Juncture 25 Poets. Last year, he and his collaboration partner Hannah Linden together won the Cheltenham Poetry Festival Compound competition. They will appear at the festival in May this year. He is compiling his first book as you read this. Find out more at or @GramJD.