Archive for the ‘Poems’ Category

Poem: Query by Damian Walford Davies

A poem from our Summer 2014 issue by Damian Walford Davies. From his forthcoming book Judas… 


Who do you say
I am? he posed,
apropos of nothing,

his gutting knife
poised at the rude
gash of a gill.

Out rolled
the same old
smooth replies.

I was tugging free
the lewd slug of a liver.
Who do you say

you are? I asked.
He resumed the knife’s
intimate intifada,

its flashing
hack and slash
a retort of sorts.


This is one of three poems by Damian Walford Davies from the Judas sequence originally published in Poetry Wales 50.1, Summer 2014. Judas will be published by Seren in 2015:

In this new collection, a shattered Judas Iscariot – that byword for betrayal – tells his own story. There are records to set straight. Trying to make sense of the bewildering events of the past year, and of the terror of the past few days, Judas moves through first-century Jerusalem in historical stereo, fully aware of the turbulence of twentieth- and twenty-first-century history and the contours of the modern city. Drawing on conflicting representations of Judas spanning twenty centuries, this chain of poems sets out to challenge orthodoxies and easy pieties. It offers an imaginative map of centuries-old violence – and dares to hint at resolutions – in the form of a dramatic (and fabling?) biography of the man whose most famous act (they say) was a kiss in the dark.

Poem: Freddie by Emily Toder


He retracted my knowledge
He spoke from his breath
so I loved it
He lifted a whole shop and its cash
and left behind a picture
of his dead mother’s and my
creation and a dead leaf
He would not let me
balance my back on the roof
by myself on the beam
in the stupid skyline
or ever be uncomfortable
A moth in my ear
dusty and heavy
his crime was part of him
His lizard pec and the gun
beat in my ear
But my chest was deaf so I followed him
until at last
I turned up at work again
This time with my lungs broken
This time with a staleness
this time with a staleness
like a black cob the dumbest
crow loves

By Emily Toder,
from Poetry Wales 50.1, Summer 2014.