top of page

2 poems by Tom Branfoot

Volatile: After Roddy Lumsden’s ‘Yeast’

is it okay to be in substantial love

when the earth is at the mercy of a vole tail

an oversubtle viola

sawing along to a Rakov taille

my philosophical vile tao

helps with nothing o lave til

I come home from the station at Toil Vale

a futile volta

since you warn of more civil violate

which I discern from the oval tile

you’re eating toast with a little avo

smashed being a vegetarian refusing vitello a

local delicacy I’ve been thinking in negative a toll

on the whole vital

ecology of emotional life you whistle voila

and make me jolt alive

now you’re rearranging a vase of floral violet

Robbie at Knebworth

I am the sexiest man alive

in nineteen ninety nine

for a time I believed this true

girls beautiful leaves of them

bypass security to taste

my singing lips

keep this secret

I have never loved anyone

quite like my mother

never even felt joy

up on that village stage

spinning like a kebab

sweating toxicology reports

from my tattooed skin

no one adequately prepares you

for being the most

famous person

in the world a stranded whale

barely breathing

news crews and beachcombers

scrutinising your flesh

until they cast

you back into the ocean of habit

love I will never quite die


Tom Branfoot is the writer-in-residence at Manchester Cathedral and a recipient of the New Poets Prize 2022. He organises the poetry reading series More Song in Bradford. This Is Not an Epiphany, Tom’s second pamphlet of poetry, is published by Smith|Doorstop.


bottom of page