Judy Brown’s second collection, Crowd Sensations, (Seren, 2016) is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her first book Loudness (Seren 2011) was shortlisted for the Forward and Fenton/Aldeburgh prizes for best first collection. She has won the Manchester Poetry Prize, the Poetry London Competition and the Templar Pamphlet Competition. Judy was Poet-in-Residence at the Wordsworth Trust in 2013 and a 2014 Writer-in-Residence at Gladstone’s Library. She lives in a churchyard in Derbyshire. Website: judy-brown.co.uk
From Platform 1, Blackfriars Station
There’s something over-familiar about the cranes
rising through the city. For centuries its huddle
was spiked only by the paraphernalia of spires.
Through the river-soaked glass of the new station
we can measure the torturer’s bamboo as it grows
into a friable body. The shallow-rooted boroughs
might be peeled off, easy as a roll of turf.
Here the earth has already crumpled, spills skeletons
which are coppery-blue from buried money.
Skyscapes are a story I’m bored being bored with.
Still, the latest towers are eating light like plants,
donating grace as they hurry into their final poise.
A confession has been exacted, then simplified.
All that remains as we sink down into the tunnel
between platforms is the city’s current heraldry,
its long bones opening our skulls to the air.