Postcards from Malthusia DAY THIRTY-TWO: Stephen Keeler


Everything is like something; what is this like?
Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997)


As though the definitions were amended overnight

and in the morning we looked on like beasts


casting only our pale shadows on uneven ground 

unable to believe that light


despite the drifting blossom and the gorse

on fire above the little town


had now become an ill-remembered dark

and gentle become brutal on


a date marked up for celebration

as though the wedding anniversaries


as though reunions at airports

as though the jostled crowds that would have been


our rolling backdrop everywhere

were everywhere reversed


as though the birches’ greening

was an unstoppable mistake.



Stephen Keeler was born in the north-east of England and has lived and worked in Sweden and China. He won the first Highland Literary Salon poetry competition and received a Scottish Book Trust New Writing Award, in 2015. His pamphlet While You Were Away is published by Maquette Press and he has two further collections awaiting publication.

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