Thomas Bailey- New Poems

Thomas Bailey is 21 years-old, and lives in London. He is currently studying English at Cambridge, and is editor of his college’s annual poetry publication. His work has been published in Agenda’s Online Broadsheet, The Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Acumen’s Young Poets Section, Off the Block, and The Cambridge Student, among other places. When he gets drunk, he forces his friends to endure lengthy, self-indulgent recitals of his own poetry. He always regrets it in the morning.

_________________

Al-Kateeba Square

for Luay Kaheel and Amir al-Nimra

the two boys were playing football
on a rooftop in Gaza city

when they first heard the missiles
carving wounds across the sky

then the lights of the sun went out,
and the afternoon choked,

and for a moment, brief as the clouds
of smoke, a country held its breath

in Ramallah, where they speak of justice,
we watched as mourners filled the streets

and back in Al-Kateeba Square,
a mother kissed a photograph

again and again and again

saltwater

and meanwhile, it’s not missing you
that makes me like this; it’s not the thought
of your soft lips brushing against mine
or the sound of your feathery breathing
across the pillow; it’s not the thought
of your delicate hands tending
to the tulips, or the fact that
nobody cleans the windowsill
now you’ve left; it’s not even
the remembered moment of you
standing in the evening sunlight
with fingers poised at your cheek
to brush your hair behind your left ear;
but the thought of your nails on his skin,
your hot breath moist on his neck
as he fucks you and I get fucked

on whiskey and Xanax somewhere,
because I always did have trouble sleeping
and I dream, sometimes, of drowning,
of thrashing around among the fishes,
and once I dreamt my hair into coral,
the polyps rooting into my skull
and I woke to find you there beside me
and your arms held me like the arms
of the ocean, before you left me     for him,
before saltwater ever tasted so sweet

The Ecstasy

we are drifting through every shade of evening
like ink-drops suspended in water
curling softly upwards
breathing and dissolving

you fold into me as our lips touch
and our fingers fumble
in the darkness
to knit us back together

love is an old and difficult word
and we are dangerous, brief
say it,  quick
before they pour away the stars

Llanto Por Una Vecina

            for Agnes

And how strange it is, to think that you’re dead:
every day we have to remind ourselves
that you won’t be standing out on the street
to welcome us home again, dewy-eyed
and wilting, slightly, from all the years of drink.
I remember how you would rest your arm
on the letterbox for support, how the sunlight
would mellow as you smiled, so full of love.

I will think of you, when I leave the milk out
for the stray cats you fed every evening,
and at night, I’ll walk down to the shoreline,
drenched in the light of a Spanish moon,
and I’ll lie on the sand like you taught me,
and feel the tide as it creeps about my feet.

About the contributor

Related Articles

B. Anne Adriaens -Poetry

B. ANNE ADRIAENS currently lives and writes in Somerset, Britain. Her work often reflects her interest in alienation and all things weird and dark, as well as her concerns about pollution and the environment in general. She’s written several dystopian short (and not so short) pieces and is putting together a poetry collection exploring the many places where she’s lived. She attended the Poetry Summer School at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University Belfast, in June 2017 and the following July, she was awarded the title of Frome Festival Poet Laureate. Her work has previously appeared in Helios Quarterly, B.A.D. (The Bees Are Dead) and Harpur Palate, as well as on several online literary platforms.

Amphibian and other poems- Cheryl Caesar

Amphibian Post-MS, my legs are clumsy, half-numb. Dumb to earth’s unevenness, I stumble to the shore. Half-in the water is hardest. Currents pull,...

David Ratcliffe – Poetry

Slipping his moorings Less than an hour earlier, he’d knelt thumbs crossed; on failing to receive a signal he slid solo on a one-way voyage, slipping his moorings with no...

More Like This

Review of The Narrow Way of Souls

Review of Eileen Sheehan’s The Narrow Way of Souls (poetry) Reviewer: Colin O’Sullivan In this her third volume of poems, The Narrow Way of Souls, Irish...

Anna Blasiak – Poetry

Anna Blasiak is a poet, translator and literature co-ordinator of the European Literature Network. She has translated over 40 books from English into Polish and some fiction and poetry from Polish into English. In addition to her book-length translations, her work has been published in Best European Fiction 2015, Asymptote, The Guardian, B O D Y Literature, Modern Poetry in Translation and York Literary Review. Anna writes poetry in Polish and in English (Off_Press, Women Online Writing, Exiled Ink and Modern Poetry in Translation). She has worked in museums and a radio station, run magazines, written on art, film and theatre.

Patrick Wright -Poetry

Patrick Wright has a poetry pamphlet, Nullaby, published by Eyewear in 2017. A full collection, Shadows on the Ceiling, will follow in 2019. His poems have appeared in several magazines, including Agenda, Wasafiri, The Reader, London Magazine, Poetry Quarterly, Ink, Sweat and Tears, and Iota. His poem ‘The End’ was included in The Best New British and Irish Poets Anthology 2018, judged by Maggie Smith. He has also been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. He currently works as a Lecturer at The Open University, where he teaches Arts and Humanities, including Creative Writing, and as Contributing Editor at Write Out Loud. He is also working on a second PhD in Creative Writing at the Open University, on the ekphrasis of abstract and monochromatic paintings, supervised by Siobhan Campbell and Jane Yeh.

Poetry by Laura Grace Weldon

Laura Grace Weldon invites us on a series of journeys, both existential and realist with these poems.

To My About-To-Be-Ex-Therapist- Poetry by Caolyn Martin

Carolyn Martin is the poetry editor of Kosmos Quarterly: journal for global transformation.