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Lily Thomson: a poem



The branches have learnt the joys of citrus fruits

in bloom.

The blackberry bush has started to grow.

The seeds have started to take root.

You are black dahlia bad,

I am Wicklow white good.

I am of a different school of thought,

one based upon the law of averages, and the pursuit of happiness.

I am carved from the depths of a mirror pool.

You are only good for bouncing off of the 

            sulphur-baked light;

evil evil jewel, placed on the pinkie of a baby's outstretched palm.


I want to blossom anew.

Twist and shake. 

Bend and brake. 

Shirk and shake.

Grow and change.

From the mouth of the river's end

lies a rapid whirlpool which moonlight shimmers upon;

a darkening sea.

Where does it lead:

to the toils of the North Sea,

or out into the Mediterranean –

a barefoot girl dipping her toes into the warm 

waters off the coast of Rimini?


What do you see?

I see God

(we are all gods of something).

I see a mother

(we are all mothers of something).

We are all shooting at the stars,

like a DART train firing through the dark.

Take my hand, reaper of the bark –

we are all liable to make a false start 

now and again.

But that was then.

We must take this valley at face value.

We must watch the animals in the pen

and thank God we are not them,

crawling blind towards the cut of the butcher's knife.

I am not them.

I do not crawl.

I do not wish to drag my feet into the ground 

anymore anymore anymore.


Yes –

the flowers have started to grow.

The light has started to glow.

Low as it may be,

it captures this fossil.

It brings life to this ghost.

Lily Thomson is a previous winner of the Sophia Jex Blake essay prize and has been involved in the editorial team for the Glasgow-based literary magazine Thi Wurd, recently working on the anthology Alternating Current. She is currently studying for a degree in English at the University of St Andrews.


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