Paul Surman


Do not disturb me. I am in conference
with the day. In urgent discussion with
a passing car, the postman on his round,
a finch sitting longer than expected

on a lilac branch, as if in quiet thought.
I am taking my place in the ordinary,
enjoying the knowable limits of what is.
For a moment everything is in stasis.

Then off it goes again, the astonishingly
usual, getting on with being part of life,
untroubled by its meaning or the truth.
The car’s sound diminishing on its way,

the finch flying off, the rattle and clank
of the letterbox as post flops onto the mat.

Paul Surman lives in Oxford where he is a member of Back Room Poets. He has been widely published in magazines such as Envoi, Magma, Orbis, and The Interpreter’s House, and in previous editions of Acumen. His first collection Places was published by Oversteps Books in 2018.