Two poems from Michael Brown


It crops up in some out-of-date stuff
and I want to give it the time of day.
Year 9. Lesson 5. A word writhes

and fidgets to be up and off the page,
mothballed to some vague, undefined space.
They don’t want to know.

I contextualise, draw a diagram.
They watch the clock from half-closed eyes.
I try to catch myself in full flight,

hold on to that sepia note,
its stifled Greek root,
something out of mind.


Beginner’s Lore
After Nimue

She’s learned a thing or two from him.
I wonder at her self-absorption, her lack
of tact . But now she’s got a taste for this.

I want her wildfire spell, her body’s
dialect. That flow. She’s quick
but not quite yet on top of it —

a child still to think her skill apart.
She’s got Merlin where she wants him:
mesmerised. Takes in what she can’t analyse.

I want that art she does not know.


Michael’s work has been published widely including The Rialto, Butchers Dog, Lighthouse Journal, Other Poetry, Crannog, South Bank Poetry, Envoi, The North, Brittle Star, New Walk and The Interpreter’s House.

He was shortlisted for the Bare Fiction Collection prize Judged by Andrew Mcmillan in 2015

In 2014 he won the Untold London Brazen Valentine Competition with his poem, From Hungerford Bridge, Looking East.

He was placed third in the York Poetry Prize, 2015, with the poem Water Lilies and he recently collaborated with the Liverpool poet Maria Isakova Bennett in projects at the Walker Gallery as part of Light Night.

The pamphlet, Undersong (2014) is available from Eyewear Publishing. Michael is currently working towards a first collection.

4 thoughts on “Two poems from Michael Brown”

  1. Two wonderful poems, each asking to be read again and again.
    Aerodrome, I think we’ve all been in that place as a child, and don’t realise it until later.
    Beginner’s Lore, an apt poem for today, in view of the SATs
    Both poems set me thinking, and I find that is always a good thing.

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