top of page

2 poems by Luke Palmer


Yes today has been the bluntest

cross legged at the kitchen window

the same view pressing on it

the sills are deep with flies ticking

consonants of small forms that

slowed against the glass then

shrunk their cursive rasp

at my fingernails only the fridge

hums now meanwhile the sky

is faultless with swifts I watch

vital parts of myself detach

lumber to the river where

they cease I squeeze greenfly

from the bud of every rose

in all my prosperous beds

until my fingers change colour


Summer the same long day eeking out

commit everything to its little frame

like a lepidopterist take care

don’t smudge the summers wings

or scuzz its furry abdomen

sometimes rain is just a noise a pack

of flies at their articles unpicks itself

until it smithereens in the puddles

a panic of peg dolls their wet round heads gulp

push sand around the house let it build

in the corners ‘til you shake it out

down the gutters no *you’re* raining

and the beach a stuffed mouth at dusk

clouds over it the colour of pulpy corpses

there’s dolphins in the bay maybe a seal

you want to throw a mug against the wall


Luke Palmer's second pamphlet, In all my books my father dies, was released in 2021 by The Red Ceilings Press. He also writes novels for young adults, and Grow (Firefly, 2021) is longlisted for the 2022 Carnegie Medal and Branford Boase Award.


bottom of page