Thursday, 27 September 2018

A poem by Lisa Reily


you cannot hear spirit in this city, Annie,
only the sound of stilettos
clacking along the footways of East Croydon,
the buzz of new phones
passing homeless men under blankets; packets of chips
and longlife croissants placed beside them.

on the tube, people attached
to electric cords, detached
from conversation, nothing friendly,
except for a man who offers
to carry my bags up the stairs.

you cannot hear spirit in this city, Annie,
but away from here, amid the green

are wildflowers,
tiny white with yellow centres,
carried on salt wet air
across the North Sea, along the cliffs
of Thanet Path,

the stone church, cold, crumbling;
I touch the brittle concrete,
where a brick once existed;
heed nameless graves,
the glare of white sky, and black
clumps of dirt, churned to the surface.

I feel you here, Annie,
as a gull hovers overhead
like a child’s kite; as two terriers
bob over long grass, appearing, disappearing;

as bike riders pass and say ‘morning’,
a three-legged dog moves faster
than all of us, and
Sorrell drops a dead bird at my feet.

Lisa Reily is a former literacy consultant, dance director and teacher from Australia. Her poetry and short stories have been published in several journals, such as Panoply, Magma Poetry, DNA Magazine, Scrittura Magazine and Foxglove Journal. Lisa is currently a full-time budget traveller and her writing is often inspired by her journey. You can find out more about Lisa at