A Nuclear Winter In An Artists’ House


This is an old poem, but one I remembered this weekend because the 5th November was when I wrote it a few years ago. I’m still quite fond of it.


Nuclear Winter in An Artists’ House

We’ve barely the money
for teabags and fags
so the broken bulb stays
in its bayonet stays,
jolting in bursts
of light dictating
our jumpy search
for sugar.

The Cat’s progress to
the water bowl is
stroboscopic, captured
snapshots of silver
and black leaping
on his Rorschach
back. His

glasspaper tongue
scratches surface tension,
sending ripples bouncing
into halos of blue light
across the rhythmic ribs
of a radiator spluttering in-
to life.

When we had more moments
of incandescence the
air was opaque with
smoke and conversation,
but now vapour breath
wreaths empty heads
quivering in rare
flickers of brightness.

Silent but for sniveling
at Fairy scented ghosts
rising from the sink,
we hear darkness descend
the stairs by teatime
and draw close,
glowing embers defying
ashtray grey as we
hunch- backs to boiler-
hugging ourselves
until our inky blood thaws,
rushing towards
hissing touch papers
in the distance.


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