Robert Grant

This Bed Is Not A Bed for Sleeping In

This bed is not a bed for sleeping in,
he rub of midnight’s edge scrapes at the night,
for curling, twisting sheets erase the skin. 

The prying, nettled shafts let loose their sting
and hands throw out their fists against the sleight;
this bed is not a bed for sleeping in. 

Where crackled flames erupt the barbed margin
a thousand horses snap the dust and bite,
for curling, twisting sheets erase the skin. 

As matted mattress bleeds the body thin
and night train breaks a scream beyond the light;
this bed is not a bed for sleeping in. 

When cuts of granite steps enclose the rim
these dreaming fingers hold the visions tight;
for curling, twisting sheets erase the skin. 

As shrouds of dandelion’s time blows in,
the salted stains of sweat surrender fight.
This bed is not a bed for sleeping in,
for curling, twisting sheets erase the skin.


A Lincolnshire Field

An hour’s journey ended, the van in which we sat
pulled away from gravel and local roads, to crawl
that last meter and stop. Tools gathered, the sprawled
field, horizon deep, breathed heat along its flats.
Shirts removed to awkward rubs of lotion, and caps
tucked tight over the glare of vision’s line. We stalled
what we could, as heavy hoes were lifted, then trawled
those burrowed plains for weeds, walking the earthen tracks.

Two hours before noon and the sky was burnt spotless
and those who wanted water had to weigh the time
between turning back and getting the weeding done.
Noiseless pain was passed in verbal games. The hottest
day in years ran dirt and sweat down lengths of our spines.
Until, exhausted, we turned: the one long field outrun.


Prometheus, Wake!

Prometheus, wake me from this sad, fetid soil
As evolution grows against the cold gods’ toil,
This unmade man awaits; hold fast my sense and take
The sodden, fibrous earth from freshest Tiber’s Gate
And have it drawn to shape by cut of flint and foil.

Prometheus, bake me in the stars’ diamond oils
And set inside my frame the heat of sun-gods’ spoils;
I am endeavour now, devoid of mans’ said traits
And all for all but love, delivered in hot fate:
Prometheus, wake!

Prometheus, shake me as the mouldings’ recoil;
Let man, as gods, betray us, turned to be disloyal,
Then turn yourself away. As lithic screams shall break
Embed, in ember days, your prayers for morning’s sake:
So burdened by the eagle, then, to be uncoiled,
Prometheus, wake!

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