The poems below were all written by poets commended in the New Voices First Pamphlet Award contest. All of them in the opinion of the judges had the poetic skills necessary to persuade a publisher to consider them as authors of a poetry collection. The competition winners, Imogen Osborne and Natalie Perman, each have a separate page of poetry. Natalie and Imogen will have their first poetry collections published as books by Frosted Fire in the Autumn.
The anthology is in alphabetical order of first names.
Basil Aurelian studies Classics at King’s College London and this interest can often be seen in their work. This is their first publication of their poetry. Their twitter is @basilaurelian.
you can get homemade soup for four pounds twenty at the breadline cafe on duncannon street.
i’d like to say they serve it with a slice of homemade bread on the side, just so,
but i’ve never had it, so i don’t know.
a cup of tea’s maybe one pound eighty, i always order one of those.
stand at the counter, card in machine (i’m waiting to put in my pin,
and the counter’s too high so i have to step on my tiptoes to see the machine’s screen)
while i’m waiting i’m stirring my tea.
milk jug’s just a reach of a wrist. i pour a splash, clinking the spoon (there’s a glass of those end-up, waiting as i’m waiting to be used,
and a tray to the left for all the spent teabags to be put).
here it’s all lurid, even midday cannot permeate
the yellowed hush of light that falls from sickly bulbs above our heads casting shadows of prussian blue.
the cup of tea feels steady in my hold. i drag myself to a table and wait some more.
i’ve slid into my seat. you’ve really got to slide since they’re bolted to the tile beneath your feet,
and the tables too so you can’t pull them closer to your knees. luckily they’re close enough for me.
sugar’s disordered. milk’s poured at the till
but packets of white and cerulean sit on the tables to be taken at will.
i keep stirring my tea. the food will come soon, they’re just making it.
the tabletop’s bordered burgundy, its insides are daffodil yellow.
when it’s wiped clean and glistening, your reflection is narcissus’s at the edge of the water.
its round edges press into my forearms with blunt dents.
i often lean forward, across, all over: my laptop’s out, glazed glassily in the often-grey light,
and if i’m not typing notes, i’m reading an article i’ve found.
i should take a moment. but when i’ve eaten i’ve got to move on, i don’t have time for leisure anymore.
with the window beside me it’s easy to be distracted,
and the windows are so big, almost floor to ceiling – skyscrapers of their own, in a cafe that’s so small.
to sit and watch people pass. is there anyone who watches me back?
she comes with the food. sometimes she smiles at me, but mostly she frowns
(i think she’s overworked to the bone, but i talked to her once, chatted as girls do –
she’s romanian too. whenever i greet her or say thank you,
i wonder whether she remembers me or if she’s forgotten. i’m just another face in a sea, another tidal wave to deal with.)
i watch her walk back and take up my cutlery, wrapped
tissued like it’s newly born, a gift to behold. i position my fork.
i was in here everyday the past week, even if i didn’t stay
(you can order takeaway,
so sometimes in my rush to go – fifteen minutes walk to the lecture hall –
i simply get a sandwich, wrapped and tissued like my fork.)
they smile, say ‘the same?’, even as they turn to switch the toaster on,
i smile and nod. i check the time, my emails and my texts,
those five anxious waiting minutes eating into the time i have left.
(i should know by now, my paranoia of time,
i’m never late these days.)
C.M Reay is a Scottish poet and fiction writer. He is an alumnus of both the University of Strathclyde and the University of Glasgow, studying English Literature and Education respectively.
I see you in the garden
In the flames I tend,
I breathe life into pain
And see you again and misremember fondly.
It all burns away,
The orange glow leaves me rose-tinted
For a little while,
Things we did together
I do alone, or in the company of others,
The majesty of a butterfly
That leaves its old roots behind
In beautiful transformation,
Complete, but reminiscent.
Stoking the flames with fresh foliage
Caroline Banerjee is a 22-year-old writer from Brighton, England, who has recently graduated from the University of Cambridge, where she read English. In 2019, she was awarded the T.R. Henn Prize for her poetry, and her work is soon to be published in The Best New British and Irish Poets Anthology.
My teacher used to have this rule
That when you were really struggling
To focus, you had to run around the
Whole set of classroom blocks,
And when you came back,
You’d be ‘as good as new’.
With only a t-shirt on,
I ran out into the frosty morning,
hooks (white) catching
On my plimsolls,
Cheeks like newly lit fuses.
I return in an instant.
Head pulsing with the air of now.
Only to find an empty classroom,
Desks floating in a bath
Daisy May Twizell is a queer poet from the Isle of Man, who will be completing her English and Creative Writing BA at Royal Holloway University of London this summer. She shares poetry readings, along with links to her other available work and ongoing projects, on her Instagram: @daisy.twizell
dirt beneath my fingernails
when i was younger and trying
desperately to impress a boy who
made me smile like the world
was safe, i sat behind a girl with
bright gold hair – angel hair – and
she offered to help me speak to him,
an ink-fingered ventriloquist, and,
when he asked me out, she squeezed
my hands and squealed for me.
we went to a cinema we couldn’t afford
and walked down to the riverbank. he
found a rounded stone and said he would
carve me a heart. i told the girl
with angel hair and she told me that
was what love felt like, and i believed her
with all of my (stuttering) heart.
the next week, we went back to the river
and he gave me his heart. my fingers were
trembling so badly i dropped it and we
both reached at the same time. i still
had river dirt under my nails when i
showed the angel-haired girl the next day.
(i always thought of her as having angel hair.
it’s only now that it seems inappropriate)
the boy never came back for his heart so
i kept it in a shoebox until, three
years later, i realised i needed one to spare
while i put my own back together.
she was only down the road so
i walked down to her, warming the
heart in my palms so she would feel
the life in it, and i barely even touched her
when i put it down, but i was still finding
dirt lodged beneath my fingernails for days.
Daniel Jonusas is an emerging poet, actor and environmentalist recently graduated from St. Andrews University. Since his time as Junior Poet Laureate for Richmond-upon-Thames, writing and performing poetry has greatly informed his creative development. He’s currently interested in exploring the poetic intersection of time, technology and climate change.
is never just a look
the dizzying yards of stars
twitch as they shuffle together
for their own kind of midnight mass
the longer that i stare, the more quietly arrive
until the arching dark silently dilates over my eyes:
i tip my head back just beyond my feet to take them in–
and the lazy grace with which they each appeared
slips gently from the sky until it finds my feet,
my weight shifts, my feet grow light
and although i don’t quite dare
i cannot shake the thought
that i could make it
Eleanor Perry is a singer songwriter/ poet based in London. She graduated in English & Creative Writing from Goldsmiths University studying under Jack Underwood. She writes poetry, and also incorporates much of this into her music making. She has been writing poetry since she was 7 years old.
cutting oranges in the park
I often wonder about the relevance of memory
between two people
when its significance has changed for
one of them.
Does it stay the same in space and time
or cease, or change into something less?
I worry about being the only person remembering directly
or grieving a particular moment.
I would like to pack away some memories and bring them with me to
ensure their safety but
I don’t want to be left alone with them if they become ghosts and I
am just there with them
as a ghost keeper.
Like this one, here –
Do you remember cutting oranges in the park that time
with a card because we didn’t have
Elizabeth Oates is a young writer from Cheltenham, currently studying English at the University of Exeter. Her poetry explores themes of family, childhood, womanhood, and memory. She is influenced by poets such as Eavan Boland and Robert Frost, and tales from Greek Mythology. For more information visit her Instagram, @elizabeth_a_oates.
Return, Polsloe Bridge to Paignton
I used to take a train ride once a week
On a track that ran right by the sea.
A station on that line sat very close
To the edge of the water, and when
The wind picked up and waves came crashing in
The crowd on the platform got wet.
I’d hear them groan as they boarded the train,
But suspect that they liked how it felt.
I used to pick the wrong side of the train
Stare at the backs of the chairs.
The way back, though, I always got it right,
Press my cheek on the window and let
My eyes relax against the blue-ish lights
As they trembled on top of the waves.
The light was low, the sun embraced the ground.
The clear waters dazzled me still.
I used to pour my gaze into the sea
The splintered edge clearing away.
Listening to Johnny Flynn promise again
The river is all that I have.
My overheated head grew cool against
The window where I let it rest
I used to stare into the sea and hold
My memories close to my chest.
Finlay Boylan is a poet and English and Creative Writing graduate from the West Midlands. He takes his inspiration from the mixture of rural and urban landscapes where he grew up and enjoys writing in his spare time on his small family farm in Staffordshire. He is interested in heritage, memory and humanity.
There’s a barber shop
A road away
From my old High School
Where I still visit.
I’ve been coming here a long time
Because it’s cheap
And in a strange comforting way
I like this street.
There’s a local bakery
Which sells pasties to builders
And a pet food place
With a grey smiling man
Who’s as much a piece of the furniture
As the swinging bell
Which chimes as you enter his shop.
There’s a little park
And I still smell that same smoke of fags,
Except the kids are new
And the ‘Just Do It’ bags have been replaced.
The street has a dentist
Which gives all the school kids their braces
But I haven’t been there in years.
The Spar is old
The Co-op is newer,
There’s a security guard inside
Because the kids stole sweets
And the manager complained.
You can smell fish and chips from 12 o’clock
Because the chip shop opens its window
And that wall over there
Used to be our wall,
Where we sat and ate batter
And talked about shit.
There’s a car park behind the wall
Which old people use
To visit the Live at Home centre
And there’s a pub with a sleepy labrador outside
Where I got served at 17
Because the barman was a mate.
I buy a pasty
Whenever I get my hair cut.
I park by the wall
And I walk past the pub
With the smell of smoke and chips,
And the street is the same old street.
Except when I think about it,
When I really care to think about it,
I can look and I can see
That the labrador is gone,
Gabriella McGinn is studying English, History and Biology in college and writing poems in her spare time. She is considering studying English in University and to become a primary school teacher
Reaper, take the wheel!
You’re cruising down a country lane: half motorway, half cobbled track,
there’s heather swamping every side, your hometown’s twenty minutes back,
you know this journey and this road, you’ve travelled this way all your life,
the way is quick and granny waits to end the hour-and-fifteen drive.
Your mother’s in the driver’s seat, the radio is loud and clear and
playing songs of men who cheat; the clouds shine orange, soft and sheer.
You spot that upturned caravan (as you do every time you’ve come),
half-white, half-brown, half-shrubbery,
half-sunken like the setting sun.
You feel your own car humming. Just one bit faster, drifting right.
You’re sure that it’s, like, nothing, but all the road’s now in your sight.
Your mother cranes an arching neck, around the lorries (slow and red),
to look and peek and see and check
if she can speed and cut ahead.
And then, all of a sudden,
she slams on the accelerate
and with this roaring shudder
and louder than a screeching brake
and faster than your breathing
and faster than your heart can take
there’s lorries on your left-hand side.
You clear the first and second fine, your thoughts are stuck on those who died
on this same road, a different time.
Your mother doesn’t think that, though, she knows that she won’t miss her chance.
She’s done and through with driving slow and waiting calm for time’s advance.
This motorway’s a matador.
The cars ahead have blood-red paint
that glints like satin fishing lures and taunts her far beyond restraint.
You’re driving with an animal.
There’s Doom behind you; left and right
And nothing in your panic’s pull to do but clutch your seatbelt tight
and squeeze your eyes shut one more time, (a time that may well be your last)
surrendering your final sights to seconds lost now in the past.
You’re feeling through that shuttered stare,
a hole within that blink to hide,
you’re wishing that your mum was there and not this thing that sits beside.
You’re waiting for the impact now, the crash that you’re so sure will come,
so molten-loud, so slamming-fast,
time slows you, like a mourning drum.
But eyes are only half your sight.
You feel the engine’s shudder fade, you strain to hear with all your might
and hear you do; the song which played
before your mother took her heel
and ground it softly to the floor; before your life was hers to steal
before the ‘Christ: o Him, adore.’
You look again through salty tears: the road is clear and no-one’s dead,
your mother oh-so-gently steers to straighten as you stare ahead.
She asks you ‘love, are you okay?’’
but you can only choke again
because what even can you say?
‘You nearly killed us, mum, just then.’
You look beyond her straining smile, the clouds have spread; the sky dark grey.
You wonder how the sunlight leaves while things which used to hold it stay.
She lets a hollow chuckle out and adds on, with a loving leer:
‘I don’t know what you’re scared about,
I’ll always keep you safe, my dear.’
She says ‘you must be tired, love.’, as trusting, like a snowdrop, dies.
But fear fades fast; you’ve had enough.
You say she’s right.
You close your eyes.
Jenny Fothergill is a support worker and poet from the Inner Hebrides who lives and writes in Glasgow. Her poetry explores themes of faith, displacement and intimacy across the rural and urban community she lives in. She has an MA in English Literature and Spanish from the University of Glasgow.
behind silk curtains
like milk, a woman
lighting a cigarette
wrapping limbs in
blue smoke like
gauze, coughing across
of glass that are lives
The amber bud.
A beacon in long nights
Between street lights
And red hands, shaking
With cold, wrapped up mouths
and the fire flies have all gone
Home, or emigrated
Water, we sip
from the same cup
at 4 am dawn bodies
fucked-up high on high
rise sex and sleep deprivation
lean back in the somnambulant kitchen
a hand’s hard grip, linoleum
window ledge, Maryhill
and hell beyond –
offer it me
Lana Silver is featured in two Barbican Young Poet anthologies, and recently in the Secret Chords anthology from the Folklore Poetry Prize. One of her proudest achievements was reading a poem in Milton Court Concert Hall. More of her work can be found at: lanasilverwrites.blogspot.com
A little glimmer of writing for my Annwyl
My toes spring-clean over the mermaid tale
or rather the,
patterning surface of an emerald-blue lake
Now, I dunk a whole foot in there
like a heavy bookend, where all the stories
those silver glimmers shimmer, dressed-up ghosts
shuffle their most treasured thoughts, over the day.
I feather dust the grey clouds and their dusty parts,
with my searching eyelashes like patio brooms, now spreading
the bristles over the rustles and ruffling of water.
I always will love you for who you are, even
when your sighs sound just like holes
bursting in the hot air balloon of my heart.
Fumbling my hair as strings.
Pulling my mane to all corners of the earth.
Are you the floating otter that joins my chesnut-furred claw
by the edges of webbed digits, but my darling, are you not afraid to sink?
I can feel a current beneath my chest escape, asking to be close to you
bringing us closer, drawing us apart.
You look up from your lap and ask me hesitantly, Can I keep you?
I never knew how to respond to your wild dreams,
like squirrels aching to be higher up trees,
when they mirrored on that reflective surface,
below the blemishes of moonlight on sand.
The specific shape of my silhouette,
a swan flapping madly in your hands.
Darling, there was more under the surface, more movement
in my muscles beneath the ripples,
the nonchalant way you search out my hand as soil
and unearth it in your pocket.
I would sprint in sand for you,
and we both know how difficult it is,
golden lumps gathering like a billion doorstops by my feet,
as I run or fling myself open like a doorway to our special hut of memories.
You are the pearl wave and its furry raised eyebrow,
I am the rescue boat flinching at the thought
of going under. You are the glimmer on the wave before it
This is for you Annwyl, just a little glimmer of writing.
Lana Silver is featured in two Barbican Young Poet anthologies, and recently in the Secret Chords anthology from the Folklore Poetry Prize. One of her proudest achievements was reading a poem in Milton Court Concert Hall. More of her work can be found at: lanasilverwrites.blogspot.com
Kaycee Hill is a 25-year-old Creative and Professional Writing graduate, based in Southampton. She was awarded the 2020 Best in Poetry Award at the University of Winchester and is currently developing her writing through the scheme Poetry Ambassadors, run by Winchester Poetry Festival, ArtfulScribe, and the University of Southampton.
Over breakfast the Devil came to me, belching sulphur all over my porridge.
Big bristled hooves, forked tongue, three blinding breasts – heavy, round,
the shade of koff candy twists. She offered me a one-eyed lamb’s head, tight-
lipped clam shells, a box of tampons. Her nipples cracked into a map of
Southampton, leaked honey, melted the cutlery. She squeezed the flaming
teat into an antique goblet, mixed it with tears then slid it across the table –
drink me – etched into its base. She tasted sweet like girlhood, peppered with
a musk I had tasted before: my first experience with death when Play died,
finding needles buried inside window ledges, red inside white cotton, smeared
across the middle like roadkill. Her flavour frenzied every bud – like ants
spewing wings, taking flight. I felt one hundred hymens breaking like bird
skulls – hips, tongue, swelling to the ocean. The smell of Golden Virginia,
baked tarmac, lemon Shake n’ Vac – the taste of Parma Violets, crayons,
microwaved milk. Through the mirage I saw mountains of bubblegum taffeta,
brass-pink tiara gems, Anne Frank’s diary: dog eared, downy hair stuffed into
Bic razors and my first big-girl bedroom. Care Bears stood to attention as
I entered – full, fat, white tummies. And my old rocking horse brought back
to glory, exactly how I kept her, with the bridle removed. The toy box
sagged to the left of the room, inside it smelt like pencils, lilies. Stay here
forever,the Devil said – patting my head with a curly-knuckled paw, refilling
my goblet with the other. I took a sip, kneaded into her lap and let sleep
take me. Locusts fell from her cheeks. The sun laboured a look
Matt Killford has been mucking about with language his whole life. As an undergraduate at Oxford University, he was twice awarded the Graham Midgley Memorial Prize for poetry, in 2019 and 2020. He graduated with a degree in English in 2020, and continues to write poetry and prose.
A compostable urn
I held you in a compostable urn
Then slipshod tossed it over the cliff
Like a wishing-coin into the sea.
Or maybe you clung like a mountain goat
to a nearby slope on the rock face
– I didn’t see where you fell –
But to watch you spin in mid-air,
An ill-judged pirouette,
Was a comical end.
I bore some regret and could have breathed you in
When you threw out a cloud of ash
Against the sky like a mini-Vesuvius.
I avoided the mouthful of dust
And mustered a peer over the edge
The sandstone crown of the south coast
From where I saw dolphins cresting the waves,
Waiting by stiles for Hardy’s ghost to pass
That windswept tree bent
In an impossible turn (back 90 degrees),
Above ammonites and belemnites
entombed by the seas.
At this lofty height
You saw the world from a compostable urn.
Megan Jenkins is a self-proclaimed ‘lockdown poet’ from Eastbourne who started writing during the first national lockdown and hasn’t stopped since. She graduated from +-the University of Warwick in 2019 and is currently completing her secondary teacher training at the University of Sussex. Her poetry is concerned with city life, anxiety, goldfish and snails.’
where the dust never settles.
A pocket full of rusty coins
caught in a metal tempest.
A globe unto itself, a sky
alive with shrieking blue comets
and stars that do not, cannot sleep.
Blockades and looming barricades
litter the landscape with shadows
that crave to conquer no man’s land.
Want and need shake this little scene,
hailing down scraps of stone and ice
that cut across pink cheeks with glee
as commuters dart for cover
over tarmac iced with frost:
a slip and slide from A to B
that leaves victims shattered, bleeding.
They count the days: Thursday, Friday,
tossing their names to the wind.
It means I have been places you never want to see.
Places where the sun burns your skin,
Places the light has abandoned.
Places where blood turns sour in your veins and demands to be set free from its prison.
Where your stomach turns into a snake pit
And they slither around and up your intestines, tongues flicking out and in
Their screams reverberate in your lungs and your heart attempts to break free.
Their fangs sink into the back of your tongue.
So better hold it.
Better watch it.
Better bite it.
Better swallow it.
It means long ago I locked a door and closed the shutters.
Pulled out a chair to hide under or kick out,
I tried the light switch but all I got was a flicker.
It means the rug was pulled out from under me,
It means the ceiling caved in while I was struggling to reconstruct my floor
And the walls finally did close in.
But it also means I’m going somewhere new. Somewhere I can imagine…
I can imagine the sun.
A friendly breeze on skin that fits.
Skimming stones again
Across a river watching ripples with a smile.
I know now
That sunsets are a different kind of beautiful when you’re the only one who sees them
Tattoos mean something different when a stranger recognizes them.
And I made a choice
For a dream
For a fantasy
For a vision I may never get to realize
But it’s a choice I live by, every day.
Because every time I get up in the morning, it takes a little bit out of me,
But that’s a price I’m willing to pay for the sake of all that could be.
For the people who stand by or lean on me.
This here tattooed on my arm is the symbol of my faith
A symbol that reminds me to live another day
It is the promise
Of all that could be, and every single day
It is a promise I am now ready to make.
A Love Poem
I can see your outline
the idea of a laugh
a general description of your hair and face.
If I imagine you as a building, with its street facing windows open all the way up
If I imagine you as the view from a train car
If I imagine you as a fox, moving across grass
If I imagine you as a struck chord
as a place
or a description of a place
and I wish I was there
but I wish
Stephen Burton is an aspiring poet from South Shields. His work features re-occurring themes of love and solitude, as well as recollections from his time travelling and teaching in the Basque Country. Stephen is currently studying an MA in International Relations at Durham University. ‘Tonight’ is his first publication.
you are the offspring of the forest.
The moon shines from behind your eyes
a labyrinth of elaborate delicacy.
The cascade of blue that strikes match after match.
against my yearning ribcage,
and steals my breath like winter wind.
The torrent of your image haunts me when we are apart.
It tears around my insignificant consciousness
and I am taken to an air of replenishing bliss,
confounded in a world where your beauty
is manifested in eternal spring.
Your skin burns to touch
but I don’t shy away.
My chest aches for the fire.
I follow the curvature of your eternal valleys,
true like the world herself,
and find I have lost myself to find solace
in the labyrinth of your beauty.
When there is nothing shared between us
but distance and the starred sky,
your image carries me fleeting to the jungles of desire,
waging war with my faltering pride
until defeat is inevitable and I slip,
unwillingly into the abyss of solitude that your absence precedes,
where I only see glimpses of your love,
like a smoke trail from the south
the wake of a small boat on the water.
Toby Cotton is a zoology graduate and aspiring conservationist from Herefordshire. He is a quiet observer of the natural world; learning from it, interacting with it, delighting in its everyday magic. He is also inspired by other humans, from Zen poets to Native American storytellers like Robin Wall Kimmerer.
Chained, I am motionless
like a seed buried in soil
patiently waiting, though
it feels like I’m sinking underwater
sometimes, collapsing inward
formless, lonely a
stone in a riverbed
something picks me up
and carries me to its house
leaping, along the way
gracefully twirling and
I feel its lightness
lifting, gliding and floating
a part of something greater
in its hands, I can fly
I look out of my cradle
upon a glinting world
There’s a secret magic below –
the way snow silences white noise
and speaks with a bold black tongue
There are hands dipped in clay paint –
naked willow trees swaying
in ceremony for the rain
There is a coin dropped by a god –
the golden moon hitting the horizon
There’s a shooting star beside me –
this blue tit thrusting then dropping
then bursting then arcing through
an ash tree constellation
There is water, and light and wind
and the new reality they create
There are ballets and sword-plays
and harmonies and ritual
and underneath it all
a shining stone in a riverbed
Tom Avann is a third year English and Creative Writing student at Royal Holloway, University of London who is passionate about giving a voice to the interactions between queerness, masculinity and neurodiversity. If he isn’t writing, he’s probably dancing or belting out musical theatre songs!
@tjreadsthestars on Twitter
@t.j.avann on Instagram
You don’t see the car coming.
Your dad always said to look right first,
And you do so a split second before you are
Picked up onto the bonnet.
Time becomes yours on impact.
You allow split seconds to stretch into whole minutes.
More than enough time to take in the fact that
You might be dead in a couple of minutes.
A part of you wanted this.
You don’t know why.
You had a perfectly normal childhood. Your mum loved you and your dad very much. Your dad was strict, yeah, but always knew best. And your job is pretty straightforward, if not a little monotonous. And your wife. Well, she is everything to you. You have never for a second believed you deserve her. She has more patience than you could ever hope to have. You want so badly to give her the baby boy she painted the spare room walls blue for. But sex always goes wrong. You’ve managed to tricked yourself into thinking it was a medical condition. You have always known the truth. You’ve just become an expert at convincing yourself you didn’t. You think back to your best friend’s wedding. The navy suit he was in made you want to cry. And at one point, you think you did. When you both stepped outside for a smoke after five hours’ worth of alcohol on near empty stomachs, he said something about that talked of the time you saved his life when you were 16 by risking your own were 16 and risked your life to save his. A car was coming right at him, and you jumped out into the road to tackle him out of a speeding car’s way. Time is passing too slowly for you to even blink, let alone cry. Even now you wish he was there with open arms, ready to catch you as the car throws you onto the tarmac.
You ask yourself,
‘how could i have been so stupid?’
You might be dead in a couple of minutes,
But a part of you is waking up
Just in time for you to watch the world dissipate.
You think of sunsets, sunrises and holding a warm hand.
You make a promise to yourself:
If you should ever wake up again,
You’ll climb out of this hole of smiling faces
And happy families you’ve made for yourself
It’s time to speak.
It’s time to unlearn.
It’s time to press play.
You close your eyes as your head smashes through the windscreen.