Michael Brown – three poems


Something in me doesn’t mind the quiet here.
How that man had belly-laughed
when I asked if there was anything like a shop.

Half-way back up the bank, I begin to pick up
the drizzle of a signal, try to text my wife.

Five fields away some kind of animal cries.
Nearer. Sometimes it’s like this: harder to find.
Throw your arms out, palms to the sky.

The Dockers’ Clock

castellated parapet
time stopped, ragwort

at all hours, padlocked
tidal fog, estuary

granite block, Irish Sea
harbinger, caveat

watch and ward, sentinel
for all time, dockers’ clock

leaking roof, dandelion
corbel, tobacco ship

what came along, landing stage
grain and hide, dying trade

six faced, derelict
staircase, pigeon-shit

carbon black, living wage
Scouse wit, heritage

cotton war, warning bell
for all days, dockers’ clock

a day’s work, a day’s pay
as always, dockers’ clock

for all days, dockers’ clock

At the Café Concerto

At the Café Concerto we pick-up
what we left off when we went back, Tom,
last winter to our other lives. Texts dried up
and when you didn’t reply
or alleged your battery was flat
I sulked through half of Lent.
The fact is that you have lost some weight, Tom,
relaxed, begun a beard. I talk too much.
It’s been too long. I can see that.
The waiter gives us two more minutes to decide
and, even now, we are wasting time.

Michael’s work has been published widely including The Rialto, Lighthouse Journal, Other Poetry, Crannog, South Bank Poetry, Envoi, The North, Brittle Star, New Walk and The Interpreter’s House.

In 2014 he won the Untold London Brazen Valentine Competition with his poem, ‘From Hungerford Bridge, Looking East’. He was placed third in the York Poetry Prize, 2015, with the poem ‘Water Lilies’ and he recently collaborated with the Liverpool poet Maria Isakova Bennett in a project at the Walker Gallery as part of the Light Night Liverpool arts festival.

The pamphlet, Undersong (2014) is available from Eyewear Publishing. Michael is currently working towards a first collection.


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