Little Pity lives in the mind’s western field.
He comes, he ploughs, he sows his seed and goes.
From the end of the hay wain’s track he sees
sunsets, red clouds, empty sky, jackdaws.
Dreaming, often, in colours, in worthwhile
leaps of free thought, he visits me and stays.
Ruthless and fire-sad, he rakes coals over
in hours of parlour emptiness, boots wet,
then leaves by the way he came in, through
the broken gate, and I forget his name again.
The Reproductive Urge
You see that cloud bank up ahead,
the one that looms over the terraces
like a purple plateau
tinged red by the rising sun
– do not dismount your bicycle
to take a photograph of it.
Enjoy it for what it is
and continue on your way to the station
to catch the train to work.
And when the carriages
ungum themselves from Platform 5
and you force yourself into
a crack between
two of your fellow passengers,
do not, repeat not
set your bag on your knee,
contort yourself, and attempt
to write a poem about it.
Night Before a Firing Squad
What with the ice
hanging beneath my wings
and the revolution dead,
my scarlet circumstances
are greater than dread.
Oh dance, martyr,
for our high endeavours
shall frost the rifleman’s headline
and out-carnival the enervating earth.
James Richards is a writer living in Cambridge. His poetry has appeared in Dream Catcher and Fire. He has written plays, short stories and a musical. He studied PPE at the University of Oxford and has a Masters in Professional Writing from London Metropolitan University. He has also acted in theatre and film.
Image credit: wiredforlego