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Dream After a Dinner Party


I have this recurring dream. I’m standing in a kitchen,    

there are people drinking wine, it’s late

and I haven’t said a word since my second drink.


Before all the hymns and Plantagenet kings,

the constitutions of bad wars, of shattered window-glass covered streets,

there was a slow and steady voice reciting from memory.

Not a word fallen or given up to the crowd.


These walls of men break and scatter.

Upturned riot shields used now to cradle cups of weak tea

and a grandmother raging, ranting. Her every word a dart

in the heart of those young fools, their lives

like a forgotten field of buried battle dead.


And waking I go to the window, open it,

find the air still and say nothing

to it about god’s miracles

or the little apocalypses flaring in the night.


Note from the author – I wrote this around the time of the riots last year but it’s also part of a sequence where I read a few poems by particular poets and then wrote. I did Dickinson, Raworth, both Fishers, Middleton, Auden and more. This poem was written in response to some Geoffrey Hill poems.


About michaeleganpoetry

Liverpool based poet and editor. I have had four pamphlets of poetry published, most recently After Stikklestad (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2010). Penned in the Margins published my first collection, Steak & Stations, in 2010.

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