Longlisted Poem 2014

Hannah January

St Benet Biscop Catholic High School, Northumberland

No place in the broadsheets

No place in the broadsheets
Guardian, Le Monde or New York Times:
A businessman dissecting a croissant over
A thousand men slain and piled up in the street,
A child’s chubby fingers printed with homicide
Where vinegar has seeped through stories,
A breeder folding up puddles of guilt where
Puppies have yellowed three thousand more dead.

This is the real news, these massacres,
Not spitting, chain-smoking celebrities,
Not what the government wore on holiday.
A girl haemorrhaging in a bathtub;
Screams so pained they grind the shards
Of a broken heart down into splinters.
Here is some news: Ockham’s Razor

Is another desperate fabrication,
We can think horse all we want but
It does not extinguish the zebra.
Yet the human race has a penchant
For secreting little things, like
Lipstick, photos, the hands of a stopped clock,
Spare buttons for a shirt lost decades ago.

It is something shared by the seven billion,
tangible like the sturdiness of pigeons’ wings,
This knowledge that memories do not have
To be taken along with the heartbeat.
It is paradoxical, a universal gallery of
Private loves and losses which needs
No place in the broadsheets

Because we are our own news,
The steady ebb and fall of existence,
The minutiae of a life.
© Hannah January

Project Details

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