Poem by Degna Stone (UK), Published in Issue 28.
Degna Stone is an award-winning poet based in Northumberland. She was a runner up in the 2nd Annual James Kirkup Memorial Prize and was selected for Verb New Voices, a BBC/ACE spoken word development programme, which culminated in the performance of her poem Songs from Whenever on BBC Radio 3s The Verb. She performs regularly at venues across the North East and at poetry festivals including StAnza and Durham Book Festival. She is co-editor of Butcher’s Dog poetry magazine and edits Deseeded an online poetry anthology. This poem will appear in Degna’s forthcoming pamphlet ‘Record and Play’ which will be published with Red Squirrel Press in April 2013. http://www.redsquirrelpress.com/
I know where it began to end.
I knew it even as we travelled North
with no sense of what we’d find.
We were always cold.
In London. In the Lakes.
Booze kept doubt a drunken slur
inaudible above the landlord calling time.
That night on the moor we could see more stars
than we saw in a decade of London skies.
I couldn’t change.
And what you took for betrayal
I called tactical necessity, calculated risk.
There was nothing special about me
The road South was almost empty
but no amount of making time
could arrest the disintegration.
I wanted to walk you to the station,
you stopped me. Turned me back
to perform without an audience —
the downpour against my umbrella
gave dutiful applause.
I moved into your room.
I keep the curtains drawn
and there is no time.
I never knew there would be so little time.
I can’t face the end of this decade,
the rules of the new game.
Even the ice in the cider
can’t numb this ache.
They stopped asking to see me.
My agent stopped ringing.
It never got better.
Bohemia revealed itself as squalor,
the rats moved back in.
Even Danny stopped bringing his medicine.