Leave then, if you must, to disseminate
your self whatever that is
and make the air visible,
shaking the seed-head of camaraderie.
Complex England, field of hymns
sung with shallow breaths,
do they feel no shame
in crisis met with clapping hands?
No. I’ll use my thumbs to applaud
this spectacle of man
clambering over man, campaigning
to reach the contour of our land
and fall. Well done! Well done!
It is finished. The stage itself is bereaved.
Rachael Boast was born in 1975. Sidereal (Picador 2011) won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize. Pilgrim’s Flower (Picador 2013) was shortlisted for the Griffin Prize. She was co-editor of The Echoing Gallery: Bristol Poets and Art in the City (Redcliffe Press). A third collection, Void Studies, will be published in November 2016.