Spring 2017

Niall Griffiths


in the Wolverhampton underpass

the footfalls echoed

the walls were tagged and swirled and said BAGGIES TWATS

a busker played Oasis on a guitar

I gave him 20p


how lucky I was to find you

heartbreak’s returning with the sun

exist in the moments like the daisies and spiders

because one of us cradling the other’s head

amongst tubes and bleeping machines

will soon come


those birds on their way again

past gun and hawk and squall and scorch

to throwing-star the sky


I was so lucky to find you

I sat in a pub all the long afternoon

drank myself sodden

soot and steel, strange shapes outside

in the city behind the glass


in the garden the spider hangs

green and gorgeous jewel

there is a cat tigering the lawn

and the dew still glimmers


there will be agony gargantuan

a sadness swallowing everything

how lucky I was to find you

how very lucky I was to find you


Editor’s Comments
Niall Griffiths is a Liverpool born, novelist and poet of Welsh and Irish ancestry. Author of nine novels, Griffiths’ work explores the marginal, the disaffected and those losing control. There is, however, always an element of hope, beauty and humour, always a fusion of the untamed and the restrained. This mix gives Griffiths’ work a wild, lush quality that marks him out as one of contemporary literature’s most important talents.
Similar themes can be found in this Wolverhampton based poem. This blurry vision of the city is one glimpsed at through beer soaked eyes from ‘behind the glass’ of the pub window. We move through sadness and alienation into hope and love. The reader is taken through the underpass, passed graffiti and a busker – contemplating the ‘soot and steel’ of the cityscape. But, all the time, recognising the ‘gorgeous jewel’ of the natural springing forth. This poem, in various ways, is a salute to Wolverhampton’s motto – Out of Darkness Cometh Light …. or perhaps the reverse.

Author: rmfrancis

R. M. Francis is a poet from the Black Country. Author of Transitions (Black Light Engine Room, 2015) and Orpheus (Lapwing Publications, 2016). He's currently researching his PhD at the University of Wolverhampton

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