Christopher Hobday


Just so. Your mouth,
shaping, like a blooming flower caught on camera
and played back high speed,
the transition between the syllables
in Tamworth. We’re at the station,
and you, a stranger,
are kissing me through the window.

I board the train, seek you out,
recognise the gold belcher
and the blue eye make-up,
scoop you up like ice-cream.
You fit to me, and say, mouth to mouth,
Tamworth. Tamworth. Tamworth.

The train pulls away from the platform.
Another man picks up my luggage.


Her mother has no Latin name to identify her.
She is perpetually-by-the-window.
The pane is one huge spectacle lens
that squeezes the world into a square map.

The outfit is an orchestra of restrained cougar,
netted sea-nymph, hint of the preposterous.
That dress belonged to a dead woman once.
So did the shoes, hence the price.

Without looking at the girl on the sofa
she wrings her hands and shakes her head,
mutters something about diminishing returns
and how the flowers are taking over the garden.

Time's Butterfly

Can we talk of Time like Lord Dunsany did
or Keith Douglas? That eater of the dead
who even in his roughest greed creates
as much as he devours, and at an equal rate

or should we even talk of time at all
when to talk of it is to ignore its passing
as something parallel, collateral

and not quite real? And do we even trust
our dim animal brains to grasp a thing
that cannot be eaten or fucked?

No; far better just to keep an eye on it,
the eye of an angel or a communist,
ready to inform and persecute.
Time’s butterfly is in the hands of brutes.

Biography: Chris was born in Preston, Lancashire in 1979. He is currently studying English and American Literature at the University of Kent, where he also helps edit Logos, the University’s prose and poetry journal. He is currently working on a collection of material with Gary Studley and Luigi Marchini and is the editor of Canterbury Poets.