HTML Backgorund Color

  About   /  Archive   /   Seasons   /  Print   /  Tenement   /  Shop


FOUR Poems

this year a delayed heat

as if we’d all been holding back
until the temperature was right

now the trees are spurting green
abashed, even their ivy cladding

insufficient. April’s thawed us out
and all the armour we’d built

around our minds has fallen off.
Where that leaves us: bare

bodies in the air in the ground
the ground riddled with tendrils

sucking our genes into the plants
the plants plucked for our selves

to ingest our selves. Abashed, even
when we’re learning to forgive our

selves for our naked winters.

abashed April’s armour
air abashed back

built bare
bodies cladding
delayed fallen

forgive green ground
ground genes
heat holding ivy

insufficient ingest
leaves learning minds
naked plants

plants plucked right
riddled spurting sucking selves
selves selves

temperature trees
thawed tendrils



if trees broadcast data
      in leaf packets       insect bites
            the edges of messages
not corruption    integrated information

as fingerspaces      gaps between branches
    exchanging letters on air
among all gaps        bodies        including ours
    a squirrel’s chatter
           distorts into spaces
       the body secure
           in a sycamore’s apex

sunlight coats our arms with words
in the shape of molecules      skin writes back
a reflection of colour       gratitude
                on the soft surface of light

            everything means
as if there was never an otherwise
for excluding anything from our hearts
name-calling anything unintelligible
        incapable of language
but our own shortcomings: what
have we learned to see in connections?

                                is impossible
safety        unsafety        extremes of
the same lacunae           different meanings
        for each of us

corruption             impossible
                                    ideals        non-entities
nothing is real but the communication
itself         equals a whole impartial fact
    im   part      ed
                               bread crumbs
                                                recording the path

a broken trunk        an epiphany meeting
    epiphanies                 the junction             between
                                              understanding       and        awe

    like lea ping     betw een      bran ches
                              sa    fety            un  sa    fety

as if    (no) know    ledge  (edge)  is light
     (light) ning        stri  k  in g     it    sel  f

imagine /
every name we share is precise

                                  from a line by Stephen Cope                             
                                  for Florence Sunnen

I’m dismantling myself, part by part
to give to you: the birds I imagine
in my heart and the bars that hold them;
the song itself now yours and the strings
condemned to play this off-time key.

A dolphin leaps an amphibrach
between my skull and liver
when you listen to me, transforms
from turtle to tortoise and back again.

Every limb is a deertrack rambling astray
in fern and shrub, the long meadow returns
to me as skinfurze, now yours,
every pitted and permitted surface of my outside,
microbes rewriting communal epics in my pores.

Reach out and take up these words
and strike them how you will, out or through—clouds
of mosquitoes at dusk; shoals, herds
at the trough of my self orating
everything I give you when I give.

fern leaps limb
        listen liver long
                  off-time orating outside
                                 rambling reach returns rewriting epics
                                                  everything now clouds
                                                            communal condemned epics

                                                            self shoals shrub skinfurze
                                                                        skull song strike strings
                                                                                    surface up now
                                                                                                now everything epics now

Sussex Envoi

The Sussex sea slows, slower, then ceases to drape
the once hard stones with its breakers, the expression
of the pebbles now one fine-smoothed crescent bowing
of bay-stretched sand. Ripples freeze in the red-orange
sunlight, a water-walked pathway, set in a wax-
soft texture. Two pairs of eyes take visionary
skates across the immutable blaze. Together
our lips find ways to sing the dawn into silence.


ways sing   silence lips    find dawn
together skates   immutable    blaze across
visionary   two texture    take soft    pairs eyes
wax water   walked sunlight    set pathway
stretched sand ripples    red orange freeze    bay
smoothed pebbles    fine crescent bowing
stones once hard    expression breakers
slower   slows      sea       drape        ceases


ceases   drape sea    slows slower
breakers   expression hard    once stones
bowing crescent   fine    pebbles smoothed
bay freeze   orange red    ripples sand stretched
pathway set   sunlight walked    water wax
eyes pairs   soft take texture two    visionary
across blaze   immutable skates    together
dawn find lips   silence sing ways

George TTOOULI is a writer, editor and teacher based in Coventry, UK. These poems are auto-transects are from a wider series called from Animal Illicit. They are attempts at decomposing the human and finding something living inside.

Submissions     ︎      ︎

Partner to a press called Tenement, Hotel is a publications series for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry & features work from established & emerging talent. Hotel provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator. 

Mailing List