Poem Written on Christmas but Not about Christmas

cut-up photo


A field of misplaced gestures blew me away.

I want to know more about every dead fish in the arctic
My face / arms / legs / and you.

A red bird in my head said

I am not older than that tree. I am quite modest.
The total lack of telephones ringing is normal.
I’m the noisy one with red wings in the meadow.

It means more when you recognize me on the sidewalk
With a boat / a tree / and a blue hat.
This boat has guided me away from extinction.

The world goes on but you still don’t want to know.
It is ridiculous / so stubborn / and some say / unexpected.

I don’t need anything expressed in echoes.
A field of black eyes / a story about light
This boat / collapsing.

So you see what a giant mess you are getting.
A nuance in code / inferred with your arms
With my ringing telephones / and my red wings.

I think I know your problem.
Sometimes accidents erase things.
Water often does.

It is not the light that loves you.
We are all trying to return the sun.





Chris Emslie

lives in Scotland. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in NAP, Specter and Sixth Finch. He is assistant editor at ILK and frequently tries to start conversations with small animals.

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