Peter Daniels has won poetry competitions including the Arvon, Ledbury and TLS, and published pamphlets with Smith/Doorstop, Vennel Press and HappenStance. His collection, Counting Eggs, appeared from Mulfran Press (Cardiff) in 2012, and Gatehouse (Norwich) will publish A Season in Eden in October 2016. His translations of Vladislav Khodasevich from Russian (Angel Classics, London; Overlook, New York, 2013), were shortlisted for the Rossica, Oxford-Weidenfeld and Read Russia prizes.
He’s standing in the station. He needs a sign,
a signal, a revelation, proof of his innocence.
The station roof is folded over like a wing
to protect him and steady his uneasiness.
But is it so good? Does it preserve him, caught
like a zoo creature, a licensed nuisance?
They will expect you to do it all for love,
choose food that’s wholesome, act nice but insincere.
He considers his options, guessing ahead:
deciding the bus behind is better, sight unseen.
The jewel is waiting in the toad’s head, lost
in his insensibility, useless and ancient.