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Jonathan Butcher
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ym_76_oct19_direction_v2.jpg
Art by Dawn Marie Gonzalez 2019

Direction

 

by Jonathan Butcher

 

 

We stand on that verge once again,

hanging by limp, depleting threads.

Our mouths stuffed with masticated

words that we spit out like blunted

bullets, their targets now lost in the

ether.

 

These same roads surround us,

unmarked, yet cracked. The concrete

reaching each corner, with obsessive

perfection, their surfaces like overused

notice boards, with messages tragically

out-of-date.

 

A certain smugness hangs in the air,

like ash-filled cobwebs, the shallow

intents not spoken, but suggested

through broken teeth, but never powerful

enough for us to change direction, as we

remain again on that same, broken path.

ym_76_oct19_theescape.jpg
Art by W. Jack Savage 2019

The Escape

 

by Jonathan Butcher

 

These old streets, almost like tunnels,

The excitement these walls and buildings

projected still simmers under this depleting

afternoon. The abandoned car parks laden

with tags and broken glass still offer a slight breeze of calm.

 

Those canals, that blend of tranquil fauna

with corroding steel still fail to offer any balance.

Their waters like blackened mirrors; to dip

even a toe would entice a fear far deeper

than the surrounding, soot-stained walls.

 

The cold air retains its mobility, our blood

slowly warms like neglected mud in summer,

we see the water's pollutants slowly rise

the surface releasing a filth ridden mosaic

of everything that should remain hidden.

 

And those dim windows still offer up secrets

we never had the courage to accept, let alone

keep. A freshness, however, still remains

if only in our heads, that warmth only a mile

away each side, if we allow this to collapse.

 

 

 

Jonathan Butcher is a poet based in Sheffield. He has had work appear in various print and online publications, including Popshot, The Transnational, Sick-Lit, Drunk Monkeys, The Morning Star, Mad Swirl, and others. He edits the online poetry journal Fixator Press, through which his third chapbook, Corroded Gardens, was published. 

In Association with Fossil Publications