Postcards From Malthusia CLINICAL TRIAL #3: Emma Simon

Work from the MA Poetry Summer School at Newcastle University

Art Deco Aquarium


On days that it is closed the tiles still gleam

the luminous green of dollar bills.


A sturgeon slowly eddies round his tank

through the brackish waters of a constant present.


Nearby, moon jellyfish drift up and down,

lighting the way for ghosts of paying customers


to visit the coral reef zone. No-one crowds

around the clown fish now, or questions


if sea-horse faces staring through reeds

are nightmares in miniature, or just real.


Outside there might be snowstorms, riots, plagues.

But here are quiet days.  Dark corridors hush


to the splash of waves lapping on shores.

We’re all alone. No-one’s banging on the glass.



Emma Simon has two pamphlets published: The Odds (Smith|Doorstop, 2020) and Dragonish (The Emma Press, 2017). She has been widely published in magazines and has previously won both the Ver Poets and Prole Laureate prizes.  She is currently studying for an MA in Writing Poetry at The Poetry School/ University of Newcastle.


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