Friday Poem – Denominations

As we are now approaching Easter, our Friday poem this week will be from Damian Walford-Davies’ Judas.

judas cover rgbIn short-lined, intensely suggestive dramatic monologues, Damian Walford-Davies vividly summons moments of fear and swagger, doubt and passion, despair and nonchalance as an outlaw Judas finds himself haunted by his chequered and extraordinary past. Familiar stories are rendered strange and uncanny as the reader is caught in multiple ironies. As striking as the unnerving images on the news loops of our TV and computer screens, these poems locate us on the hazardous streets of a divided city with a companion-guide who shares with us his own troubling and troubled version of history.

Drawing on conflicting representations of Judas spanning twenty centuries, this chain of poems sets out to challenge orthodoxies and easy pieties. Judas offers an imaginative map of ancient enmities – and dares to hint at resolutions – in the form of a dramatic autobiography of the man whose most famous act (they say) was a kiss in the dark.


You’ll paint me gross – 
gripping my shins, 
retching silver coins.

Let me put you straight. 
All I’ve got’s loose change 
for late-night kofta stands

outside the Lions’ Gate, 
where tote-bag tourists 
sip tart tamarind

from paper cups.
On Friday night I saw the city 
wane and wax to pixels

on the screens of untold 
mobile phones. From unbuilt 
minarets, muezzins hoist

the pale Passover moon 
above the gospel
 of the Separation Wall.

Buy your copy now.




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