Richard Skinner: a poem



Sky with Four Suns


The first sun – a time bomb – was sucked

into a black bucket and then –

boom. Its igneous

nodes touched and sparked a blackout for aeons.


The second sun was ferrous,

burnished as a shield,

only coming into focus

when it burned redly through

the blizzards.


The third sun was a blank

placeholder, a luminous ring

empty inside –

a winter-white afterglow

rather than a furnace.


The fourth sun – our sun –

is a yellow light of feeling in

our plastic Holocene. We kick it

with our kharmic footprints

but it is still to yield,

yet even light has a shelf life.



Richard Skinner is a writer working across fiction, life writing, essays, non-fiction and poetry. He has published three novels with Faber & Faber, four books of non-fiction and four books of poetry. His work has been nominated for prizes and is published in eight languages. Richard is Director of the Fiction Programme at Faber Academy. He also runs Vanguard Readings and its publishing arm Vanguard Editions.