Featured: 2.51pm in the wasteland

Sarah Grout

Listen to the poem below:

 

an aluminium can rolls
lacking purpose caught on an
intermittent wind, it moves
forward five paces, then dawdles
then rolls back slowly
the gradient of the road
unexpected without the wind;

misplaced, a flag flaps, torn to
immaterial pieces, but still hanging on
high, its purpose a series
of nods back and forward
across the steel pole,
clanging, asking the unwritable
question;

graffiti in block orange letters
spelling out death to immigrants
screams across the brick
walls, crumbling from the weight
of the concerns of the before,
but fluorescent, bright in their
long, lost anger.

we creep
through the wasteland
the scurrying noises
underneath the foil wrappers
dancing down the road, unthinking
as rodent or mutated
disease
set to take away from us
the nothing we already possess,
our steps are booted light but
still they become the only
symphony, eerie, as we cross
the wasteland;

there might be a way out
way out east,
whispers say there might be
but how can you know
when the king of your imagination
is lost
buried deep under the city’s walls
waiting
for a future that you will never see;

somewhere in the before a boy
fell in love with his best friend,
betrayed him, his reflected piece

and this is what started the wasteland

not the armies, or the guns,
the carpet bombs,
the finger on the trigger
happy, the word piles, vitriolic,
glutted off destruction;
now these boys stand on
two sides of the silver divide
remote
ghosts
haunting the wasteland with
their mis-told history.

The moon’s milk lights one,
the sun’s etchings caresses the other.
The darkness hides them both in an embrace.

But we walk, we trudge,
we pick our right foot up, and replace
its imprint with the left. We know no
other.

 

SK Grout grew up in Auckland, New Zealand and has lived in Frankfurt, Germany and Norwich, England. She now lives in North London. She’s currently working toward short story and poetry collections. Wanderlust, eco-living, social justice and writing remain priorities of her life.