Luke Palmer



for Tim Liardet


I walk mine through the spoil ponds and slag
of the housing estate, stutters of frost on the path

and mud’s knuckle between them.
The sky’s vault is a flat grey lowering.

Marsh grass capped in ice chitters
like a cold joint. News from last week

— two mastiffs parting a small-breed,
the mutt from next door jawed by a bloodhound —

has me rattled. And there’s more people crushed,
left bloody and soft by livestock; their dogs run off

to shiver in the underbrush as the cows’ heads
dip, the hooves come in. Even an un-grown bullock

weighs half a tonne. Who knows what starts them.
I stop, reel the dog back to its lead, turn for home.

As we re-climb the hill our breaths smoke.




Jesus in the Networked Battlespace


It isn’t difficult ― forgiveness

but must be absolute    everywhere at once
like the swell of first light
from a bomb    like my name

There is no carriage here    no
chassis       and red flowers
do not grow

in the temperature-controlled server rooms
of idolatry       o

what’s weight to the weightless

This blood is not real    it washes
easily enough



Luke Palmer is a poet and author living in rural Wiltshire. His debut pamphlet, Spring in the Hospital (Prole, 2018) won the Prole Pamphlet contest and he has recently placed poems in Shearsman Magazine, The Interpreter’s House and Under the Radar as well as anthologies from The Emma Press and Eyeflash. His first novel, Grow (Firefly Press), will be released in July 2021.

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