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.