With an original background in Fine Art, Jim Conwell has worked in mental health for thirty years. He has had poems published in magazines in the UK, Ireland, Australia and North America and had two poems shortlisted in the Bridport Poetry Prize 2015. He lives in London.
feeling only the blank surface of things,
the slimy skin over unnameable humps.
Shapes unravelling in evening landscape,
the air chill, the wind
blowing out of the coming darkness,
the memory of the day
gone beyond calling.
All that stirs here
are the tattered ends of torn and split clothing,
picked up by the gusting wind
and the hopping and fighting of butcher birds.
Down there, across the rich, slippery ground,
they have begun to burn the bodies.
But nightfall is coming and they will not reach me soon.
* Old Norse word pronounced 'sloughtruh', translating in English as
'butcher's meat' or 'offal. Thought to be the origin of the word 'slaughter'.