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2 poems by Tim Craven

Obsessive Morning Sky


Rise as one, red clouds. 

Squint clean into the early dawn  

and glean what you can.  

The celestial swept up  

like post-party debris. 

Roads glisten with brittle frost 

under the moon’s bruised face 

and a wash of starfields, 

shifting smoke of the unknowable, 

dense drifts of the white-hot.  

A cipher in Technicolor, 

the colour of collapse. 

Start at the bottom and fade to blue -  

the sun hauled up by pulleys. 

A world of roofless people  

fading to white. 

Dead Arm Sonnet


Dead of night. Waking to a limb killed  

by your own awkward heft  

cutting the supply lines.  

The breathless panic of discovery.  

You try to slap out the absence  

in your lifeless wrist with the motion  

of an addict. The slumbering world is oblivious  

to the retreating borders of your body. 

You keep rubbing, expecting  

the pins and needles, the heat, the ascension –  

the way you’ve always been revived.  

But what if feeling doesn’t return? 

What if night spreads into your chest?


Tim is from Stoke-on-Trent, lives in Scotland and works for Manchester Metropolitan

University. He has an MFA from Syracuse and a PhD from Edinburgh, which explored mental illness in Confessional poetry. His poems have recently appeared in The Poetry Review, The London Magazine, The Rialto and Bath Magg, and his pamphlet, Lake Effect, is published by Tapsalteerie.


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