For the June edition of the Forest Chapbook Series, we worked with the University of Edinburgh Creative Writing MSc programme, highlighting one poetry and one fiction writer, and produced a separate chapbook for each.
Dave Coates, Cover Story
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How to get to know someone through lies and deceit.
Train to London
Black clouds open and sunlight spills in streaks.
In our four-seater booth I hand you
sandwiches, kettle chips and nectarines,
check my watch and listen to the babble
of portable music players.
You make some comment
about smoking on a train.
I agree, I think, and watch
as the grazing sheep,
the meadow scored with foxtrails
and the rusted ridges of signposts –
Dunbar, Berwick, Alnmouth, Morpeth, –
flash past our window.
I give you birchwood. I give you
the white flowers of hawthorn.
I give you witchhazel and alder
with sunlight strobing through their branches.
You give me the fuzz-yellow buzzcut fields,
heather like coral, gaps in stone walls, a scarecrow,
faces of cliffs like ellipses, the sea,
A bluebell, seagulls following a tractor like seagulls
following a trawler, the soil deep brown,
the summerhouse overlooking the water
where hawks hover; haybales like pigs in a blanket,
like an art exhibit, like the wheels of the sun,
like morse code, like braille,
like the sign language I never learned,
the elm bare like handstanding roots,
pheasant farm net-roofed, sheughs of water
left in train-wake as we pass,
silver in the peacock dusk,
branches turning the sun to tawny strips
that briefly light our glowing four-seater booth.
About the Author
Dave Coates is 24, was born in Belfast and lives in Edinburgh. He has also co-edited the anthology World Cup Poems 2010, also published by Forest, which is only peripherally concerned with football, the world, and the year 2010. He would like to watch Con Air with you.