Guest Poem by Anthony Head

Anthony Head is a writer and editor who recently relocated to his native Wessex after spending most of his working life in Japan. His articles have been published in numerous journals, including The Edinburgh Review, The London Magazine, Hinterland and the TLS. His poetry has appeared in Acumen, Orbis, The Frogmore Papers, Dream Catcher, and other journals. He is the editor of two volumes of the letters of John Cowper Powys and several collections of essays by Llewelyn Powys. This poem is from Acumen 107.


My Angels don’t answer. They never do. Sources disagree
on how many each of us has, but often have I pleaded
for mine to show themselves or leave at least some evidence.
Never a whisper or sign, no sudden ruffling air on a windless
day, no bright light at the end of the bed, not even a feather.

Am I abandoned then, uncared for? Has it always been this way?
I listen to the chat-show voyants claiming your favour, but how
you live untouched among the victims of hurricane and wildfire,
in the aftermath of rampage, they never say, or what the guardians
of rapists are up to, how many billions you are, if like us you sleep.

I wait here with an open mind, an open heart, but there are times I feel
I’m sinking, flailing in this heavy swell of silence as night closes in.
Find me, Angels; somehow speak. Let me know the day will come
you guide my tainted spirit to the light. (Then I can erase this poem.)