Friday Poem – ‘Still’ by Christopher Meredith


This week’s Friday Poem is the title poem ‘Still’ from Christopher Meredith’s collection of the same name. Christopher was recently interviewed by Nawr magazine about his poetry and fiction. You can read the issue online via their website.

This cover shows a painting of a winter landscape looked on from far away, the tiny trees visible in the fields. The black branches of a tree are visible in the foreground with a single black crow amongst the branches. The text reads: Still Christopher Meredith.

Christopher Meredith’s new poetry collection Still, uses the title word as a fulcrum to balance various paradoxical concerns: stillness and motion, memory and forgetting, sanity and madness, survival and extinction. Lively and thought-provoking, this is a beautifully crafted, humane and intelligent collection.

“Lyrical, always surprising… His perfect ear tunes in so precisely” – Paul Henry

Still
At the banister above you an old man stands
in long johns like you’ll never see again
except in films, backlit by an open door
smiling and lifting a slow hand
and you are forever in slow
motion sailing down the narrow stairs.
Your eyes are rolling up to watch
his head inclining gently as you go.
That’s all. Rerun it. Look again. He lifts
a hand that’s bossed and broad. He smiles
and pinpoints of white stubble light
the folding cheek. The moustache shifts.
No no, they say. You never saw him.
He couldn’t stand, and you were far too young.
But you did. He could. And were you cradled
down the darkening drift, a babe in arms?
Again. That backlight is the sun. Same hand slowly
raised, same slow-inclining head, same kind smile,
his shape at the handrail this time hunched like
a passenger who’s slipping from the quay
too courteous yet to turn back to the glare
of the final room, though he hungers to, and will.
Memory is the still of slow forgetting,
the black and aching decades boiled to air,
cooled to this crawling droplet in the pipe
moving still and still in this suspension
rolling on its empty convolutions
to catch and lose a world in hard white light.

Still is available on the Seren website: £9.99

Still was published simultaneously with Christopher’s latest novel Please. You can buy them as a set on our website for £15.00.

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