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
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.