Monday, 11 November 2019

A poem by Mat Riches

Apart from being the co-organiser of our upcoming Rogue Strands poetry reading on 28th November (see Facebook page, etc), Mat Riches is also an excellent poet. His work has made huge strides over the past two years, as has his consequent publishing record in high-quality magazines and journals. Riches is an example of a poet who's taken his time, found his own route and is now building a readership that seeks out his work.

Today's poem shows us why. It strikes an inimitable, idiosyncratic tone, flowing with a deceptive ease that's underpinned by a keen ear...


You find you’re carrying
a cairn in your pocket.

You’ve been to some hard places
before and found yourself

looking down on the rocks
you stole as talismans.

A bespoke quarrying,
they were transported home

in a pocket and turned
over and over, flipped

through fingers like gymnasts
looping round balance beams.

Before you pick your point
short of the horizon,

consider more than just
saving trouser linings.

Take careful aim, winding
up and back, then release

to watch each brief puncture
and skip away lightly.

(First published at the Poetry Shed)

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