Four poems from Sophie Collins

I was really struck by these poems from Sophie Collins on Alex MacDonald’s blog yesterday and am delighted to post more work from her here.

little neck

that last time you were someone else
my eyes were closed ‘in pleasure’

afterwards you stroked my neck
‘so little’ you said you didn’t know
how it could support my head

Two Poems from Photographs

September 1994

Here I am
posing for the camera –
‘cutting the grass’
with a push mower.
Blonde plaits,
the New House as backdrop.
I cannot remember
who took this picture,
but we are playing
at something.

December 1996

This picture is hurried,
taken from a distance.
Three of us are walking on ice.
The girl next to me wears a red coat.
The brother I no longer speak to
is holding my hand
and with the other I am clutching
at red coat’s hood for support,
pulling her back and down.
Heads bowed, we are scouring the ice
for ‘frozen fish’.
At what point do they stop moving?


We are always waiting.
In the tall grass of the Bushveld,
beneath its cirrus clouds,
we are coiled springs. We are alive
and we are thirsty.

The pelt is smooth
across the golden arches of our backs.
Our lustrous eyes reflect the planes.
The black imprints beneath them
are not tears but paint.

We breed under the moon.
We fight amongst ourselves.
We kick at death
until it overtakes us.

Our blood brings others.
We are carrion now, and they pick and pick
and pick, working our bones,
our high black horns- a Hermes’ lyre
that rests on the head of every male.

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