Longlisted Poem 2014

Arthur Goldthorpe

Northamptonshire Grammar School

A Paper In a puddle

Relics of each thinly spread night,
mourn the path to our news room –
The soulful struggle, at the cornerstones
where they begin as advertently shy, advertently feeble things –
yet to be ruined.
The office itself is space and plain,
filled with emerging, hesitant dawn.
And as the charm of morning trickles
through the faded curtains, torn,
‘the birdsong trickles through them too!’
perhaps one more romantic would have sworn.
Ten o’clock,
a slow news morning.
We skip, unmoved, to the evening print.

Shackled to the pavement, amongst the driving rain,
I see my turn of phrase,
and I shudder again.

With pens to paper I haunt the mornings!
twisting between fragmented perplexion.
‘We don’t just write news,’
one or two have said-
the ones who read Auden and Hardy in bed,
and run contests on page 8. But, I deserted those
dreams far back, and so too will they. They’ll
shutter and gasp and run to the street,
they’ll smoke like the strong, and cough like the weak,
and every fragment of poetry will fade –

And over there, like an ageing face,
their words will sit, withered,

‘The News writes itself’
A lover once said,
suggesting I teach English in Paris instead.
But that humour faded in restless winds,
and only desertion can live on in snow.
And on the day we were parted
by a railway station,
I drew lines… not her name, in a misted window
of a train which ploughed on regardless.
Whilst I ribboned through England,
I saw fields and their crops, and town halls with clocks –
But when next in the office, I’m afraid
I forgot.

And so in a vacant puddle beside the drain,
beside the leaves and a littered goodbye,
my newspaper soaks up the rain
as untouched by beauty as I.
© Arthur Goldthorpe

Project Details

  • Date February 10, 2015
  • Tags 2014 News - Longlisted Poems