Thursday, February 4, 2016

Illustrations and text for my poem 'A Good Drowning'. With thanks to artists Gilberto De Martino, Hilary French, Jon Munson II, Tim Shelbourne, and all at Poems Please Me. 

Full ebook at

And the poem itself:

(By the River Aniene, June 2015)

It calls you in,
bottleglass green and cool in summer heat,
but the current’s too strong:
before you know, you’d be floating unhurriedly
into the Tiber, forty miles downstream.

Not such a bad way to drown, taking it easy,
having everything you’ve experienced
click through your head like a slow movie reel. With time
for sight-seeing – think – those twenty-seven centuries
from the founding of the city,
the emperors and the excesses,
popes, palaces and pleasure-gardens,
amphitheatres and aqueducts,
temples and trumphs, legions, lingua Latina…
so much more than one’s own meagre existence,
a hundred generations roughly speaking,
surely enough to fit a million lives.

It seems almost a pity
to miss that.
I think I’ll dip my toe in now.

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