Steve Xerri


Our language may not have a name for this but
we know how it lurks not just in the graveyard
where a figure stoops to replace some wilted flowers,

nor back in the quiet house where nesting
wasps chew the wooden rafters for their paper,
not just at the edge of a field where the smoke

of battle drifts past flowering gorse,
nor afterwards when in the years of peace
battered photographs are kissed like icons:

it is here, it is now. It’s with us at the edge of town,
in the backs of cars peering at little screens
while our mums are doing the supermarket run ;

with us on the platform any weekday, re-reading
a poster for a show long finished, as we wait
for the train to come. We are leaking time

at the usual human rate, forgetting to notice
clouds heaped above us on slow boil,
each one on its only appearance

in the whole of history – or, if not forgetting,
then at a loss for what to do with all
that beauty, at this moment, in this place.

Steve Xerri lives in Cambridge. He has variously been a teacher, musician, illustrator, digital imaging trainer and web designer but now splits his time between writing poetry and making pottery.