Jonathan Butcher



A shortening of this time, a tranquil hour,

as chaos and celebration continues behind

closed doors and bars. The stillness outside

allows the patter of foxes feet on concrete to

echo like avalanches.


The first sip always tastes bitter now,

my taste buds filed down by decades of

misplacement. A singular crack across

this glass is now more than sufficient in

bringing this evening to a close.


The recovery over four days lets those clouds

slowly break, but without rain. Just a gradual

reminder that our stride has now shortened,

our voices now grate against the most stable

of nerves.


It all crept towards us too early, like mould

upon damp carpets. and managed to break

our delicate swagger. that never held more

than its own body weight. It’s centre never

as soft as we constantly liked to portray.



Once it’s Gone


Just off that side road, taunting the last

dregs of each pint, our fingers never gracing

the filthy change left in our pockets. We again

look forward to that fictitious holiday we have

planned- two days upon uncut grass verges.


We drift pass those dilapidated lairs, once

occupied by working hands; calloused and cut

short without a word of thanks. Their achievements

now our meager entertainment, the fruits of their

labour now encased in dust and dispersed on this

slow, tepid breeze.


We climb those make shift steps, the clear

air a vaccine for our lungs, to protect us from

the next four months of smog. My eyes for once

stop excreting false tears, as we approach that

final bar, we understand the stain we leave is

unavoidable; yet another unwanted necessity.





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