The falter he failed to grasp still haunts,

and even though she explained it four

times over now with evaporating tears;

a little expenditure still wouldn't go amiss.


The leap from these quilts takes a little longer

now, a modern day lightness much required

for such tasks was lost in his early thirties, and

makes the retreat that little more cumbersome.


The red bricks that gleam from outside, still

the same shade since his teens, like an

unremarkable backdrop, that seems to decorate

each decision made, and is only removed once

the rest of the set has comfortably crumbled.


From outside of his blanket, he crawls slowly

towards each corner, the wall paper stained

with smoke from both their lungs, and with

a brittle throw, hits the light switch, if only for

want of a shadow.



To Stare In


I sit under what light the trees allow to

muster, their branches like a net, unable

however, to fall and eventually drench me.


I sit upon the raised sod, the river trickles

not far from the city, the bars with crowds

out doors, the clicking of heels, the

charity shops and off-licences, all with

walls as constantly willing as ever.


My head bows with each breath, my

cigarette now causing far too much irritation,

the space I wrestled now seems far wider

here, at last my hands are free from those



The conversations can now flow, yet still

only in solitude; at least this is a start, and

old faces really have no place here anymore,

they're replayed with that climb I am told is

perpetual, by those still yet to fall.





This town, I have given everything and received

nothing, other than the recycled apologies not

worth the tongues they rolled out from.


During the bus journey through your borders,

a laugh from the couple behind evokes again

that fear, the fear that after a while just became

a comfort, like a blanket secretly laced with poison.


The walls are now buffed of our markings, my

ankles still splintered from the nightly chases

that made our evenings passable, and made

the pulling of our roots that more possible.


I gave all to these walls and roads, as my back

still remains turned in right direction, as I stand

beneath the blossom encrusted branches, that

paint shadows like broken fingers, and let the

others pass once more, their smiles as fixed as




Jonathan Butcher


Bio:  Jonathan Butcher is a poet based in Sheffield in the North of England. He has had work appear in Electric Windmill Press, The Rusty Nail, Elbow Room, The English Chicago Review, Dead Beats, Gutter Eloquence, Underground Voices and others. His chapbook 'Concrete Cradle' has recently been published by Fire Hazard Press.