A Journal of poetry and kindred prose


Matt Merritt is an English journalist and poet. His debut chapbook, Making The Most Of The Light, was published in 2005 by Happenstance Press and he has appeared in British and US magazines, e-zines and anthologies, including Magma, Boxcar Poetry Review, Poetry Nottingham, Envoi and The Slab. He was the winner of the 2004 Plough Poetry Prize. He lives near Leicester and works as production editor at Bird Watching magazine.  His blog is Polyolbion.   


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It’s years since we wanted any part
of the main storyline butdon’t look now
a man with a handheld camera has been
following us for some time, busy

giving us that slightly shaky, woozy,
This Life look for extra authenticity.
The nights are pulling out, are already
lighter, warmer, and of course the city

is the real star, but regardless
of the sharper script, the camera tricks,
we are both agreed our lives
are more realistic this way, so why

whyare they set on overloading
things with the implausibility of love?



I supposed
‘the ghost
of raspberries’

but in essence as much
to do with ‘gist’;
which is to say, ‘yeast’
in Dutch.

They swallow
the ‘g’ gently, g-
then allow

it to rise
slowly, higher,
a thing of ice and fire
conjured back to life.




It is the sound of an adolescent planet
still awkward in its own skin,

the contact buzz of continents,
or electromagnetic seepage,

or else some psychic settling pool,
a reservoir of emotion,

from pain to exultation.
Sometimes it is only the purr

of all creation idling, a season cycle
coasting, freewheeling.




Their hilarity reaches your lamplit world
above the babble and yammer
of the brents, or you catch them
in the corner of an eye, perhaps,

pulling the darkness about them.
To try to take them on
on their own ground would be madness,
so safety is streetlights, cats’ eyes, road signs,

agreement to stay your own sides of the line.
Strange, that when dawn throws its switch
and you dash between flint walls, yews,
through into a blue sky universe, then

and only then do they come in to roost.