Paul Surman


Under a late autumn morning sky
I need a word for a moment
that is neither dark nor light.
Not so much a time of day
as a hesitation of being.

Twilight or crepuscular can’t describe
the mood I’m in at times like this,
when walking to the village shop
for a pint of milk or a newspaper
I am overflown by red kites.
Dark shapes, fork-tailed cut-outs,
made from left overs of the night.

A stealthy feeling rises through me,
instinctual as ancestor worship; I know
there should be a name for it,
but there isn’t.

Paul Surman lives in Oxford where he is an active member of Back Room Poets, helping organise workshops and readings. He has been widely published in magazines, including in previous issues of Acumen. His first collection Places was published by Oversteps Books in 2018. He is currently working on a second collection provisionally called Consciousness.