Guest Poem by Graham Mort

Graham Mort is emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at Lancaster University. He has worked on writing projects throughout the UK, in sub-Saharan Africa, Kurdistan, Vietnam and China. His latest poetry collection is 'Black Shiver Moss' (Seren, 2017). He has published three books of short fiction: ‘Touch’ and ‘Terroir ‘(Seren) and ‘Like Fado’ (Salt). ‘Samara’, a poetry pamphlet with illustrations by Claire Jefferson appeared from 4Word press in 2020. A new poetry collection, ‘Rivers Joining’ is currently in preparation.

Talking to a Spider in the Bath
(January, 2022)

There you are in the corner of my eye
scurrying sideways

a black atom, a stain against enamel
a venomous intruder

or is that me, stepping into the
shower’s caul of steam?

I notice how careful we are
of each other

a kind of good neighbourliness
that is not love

mutual hostility or even respect
but just our way of

never touching the nerve wires
taut between us.

from: Twelve Poems Concerning the Ukraine War