“Animals are in Communion” and other poems by Polly Roberts

I met Polly through friends, & being told she was a poet, meeting her I just got a good feeling she was legit; she sent me her latest book ‘Grieving with the Animals’ & reading just the first few pages I knew that my initial assumption was correct. Here is a body of poems, authentic in their tone of feeling, pressing in their effect & imperative as an annex to the growing oeuvre of Anthropocene poetry.
In October a review I wrote for The High Window will be published, so I am glad you can get a window into the poems before then through Chris Murray’s inimitable Poet Head. Enjoy.

Poethead

Animals are in Communion

I came home

to find him

doing nothing.

Limp armed.

Could do nothing.

Sat on the sofa

lost to the world.

I have some bad news

I’ve been seeing ghosts. Birds on water.

The day before I received the news, two swans flew low over my head. Their wings thrummed
like a helicopter.
Eyes turned to watch the rescue vehicle, and instead saw white bellies.
The sound travelled, nothing like their usual flapping, as they soared over and onto water.

Returning to my boat, a shadow shifted on the river bank. A furry creature – small, sleek – edged
its way through the grass, took a moment to drink, then slop, slipped in.

Animals are in communion for you.

As are we,

nosing each other’s armpits

as we bed in

for warm companionship.

Because you went cold.

Though the civility of civilisation frightens me, I visit…

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