Monday 5 August 2013

3 Poems by Neil Leadbeater

The Fire Raisers

                Your nightmare
                is a lit match on dry wood
                the odour of paraffin
                leaking through the letterbox
                a quick flame
                on a length of fuse.

                In your soaked sheets
                you shout for sand buckets, fire
                blankets, pails -
                draw water from the depths of taps
                while the dogs whine at the window slats
                their nostrils flared for air.

                Heat blisters the rooms into sores
                scorching the soot-black wall:

                Where is the rain
                you ask
                hoping to catch its fall.

                Fully conscious now
                you begin to relax the muscles of the jaw
                thankful to find
                the house intact
                the fast beat of your heart
                in the last year of the war.

Animals Without Backbones

        Lately I have taken to reading Professor Buchsbaum’s
        Animals Without Backbones:
        two volumes about the miracle of life
        in the small hours
        of the morning.

        It made me flush out a smuck of jellyfish -
        the blood gills of insects
        the basal disc of the sea anemone
        the coelom of the clam
        the nerve rings of starfish
        the blastula of the sea urchin
        the capillaries of the squid -

        these soft, gelatinous, simple forms -
        the earth’s jewelled aquariums.

The Red Harvester

                so much depends

                a red harvester

                inching its way
                along the

                quarter bank

                its bladed edge
                skirting the

                convolvulus vetch

                and the pinched
                waists of dead

                nettles standing
                tall in the



Neil Leadbeater is an editor, author and poet living in Edinburgh, Scotland. His poems and short stories have been published widely in anthologies and small press magazines and journals both at home and abroad. His first full-length collection of poems, Hoarding Conkers at Hailes Abbey was published by Littoral Press in 2010 and a selection of his Latin American poems, Librettos for the Black Madonna, was published by White Adder Press in 2011.

1 comment:

  1. I want to send you my poems. Can I still send you to them?