Guest Poem by Nicki Griffin

Nicki Griffin lives in County Clare, Ireland. Her debut collection of poetry, Unbelonging, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Shine/Strong Award 2014 for best debut collection. The Skipper & Her Mate (non-fiction) was published by New Island in 2013. Crossing Places, her second collection of poetry, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2017. She is co-editor of poetry journal Skylight 47.


The pretty street is lined with gas lights
convincing in their Victorian guise
throwing down a mantle of respectability.

Nothing to see in the shadows you know
and that thing you noticed that slithered away
wasn’t there. You can trust me.

Look how the street is bordered with
lime trees and flowers in gardens
where all is normal and blackbirds sing.

You can’t believe those scientists you know
they have an agenda, they’re trying to fool you
don’t let them pull the wool.

See the golden-bricked terrace of houses,
front doors that open on hallway and rooms of
laughing children and smiling parents.

You need to listen to me, you know
the facts are in my words, not theirs
you need to be careful what you read.

Here in the street the sun shines bright
and nobody notices lengthening shadows
or how the gaslighting burns on and on.