Neu! Boots Are Made For Walking DAY THIRTY-NINE – Gregory Leadbetter


We are estranged:
a people spoken of
as if in story.
Our existence moot
even to ourselves.

Who are these figures
behind our faces
and whose faces
are these our own?

Our stars are scattered
kingcups, light spilt
like certain fate
for we the lost to find
and build our firmament.

Our beautiful are still beautiful
but cold as fresh
statues waiting
for the warmth of blood.

We hold world office,
our intent as yet unknown.

We are old: we feel
that in our bones
and in the noises
of our islands.
There are voices
on the air: do they
speak for us? Our mouths
are silent nestling crows
gaping to be fed.

Our sounds require
their dark interpreters.
Our spectres tell our young
we come from over the sea:
this movement
between, this flood
of our speech
seeking us out.

We wake to reports
of a boat capsized
beyond the horizon.
We assemble in hope
as if in sight of ourselves.

A child washes ashore
with her gift of tongues.

She is alive.



Gregory Leadbetter’s debut full-length collection The Fetch, was published by Nine Arches Press in October 2016. A pamphlet, The Body in the Well, was published by HappenStance Press in 2007. His book on Coleridge’s fascination with the transnatural, Coleridge and the Daemonic Imagination (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) won the University English (formerly CCUE) Book Prize 2012.

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