Three Poems by Alan Dunnett

These three poems by Alan Dunnett consider engagements or miscommunications, some a little more welcome than others…

by: Alan Dunnett


It is you in another form asking
for this or that, saying I am asking,
I am doing the asking, and bringing
bad news on myself though time is changing.

You see the future in pictures and lines -
hard-eyed, dead certainty unknown to man –
and not as dark suspicions undefined:

Violence is law and necessity.

It is you in another form taking
with charm or otherwise, each way taking,
until it is my turn under the wing,
not sheltered but shadowed by the black wing.

Later, we meet in unlit halls, smelling
the used air, wondering at what was done,
the old tales not so good in the telling,

you and I, catching breath, momentary.
Lost Conjunction

We have forgotten intimate details,
I find. It's true, it is a long time now
and, as I reflect, it feels like a dream.

It is a relief if memory fails.
When certain misunderstandings allow
their own passage, I'm lost in how things seem.

We wait in this day's end for the last train
where the dark platform air stops at the pane.
No Egress

They are at the dry pit unloading all
of you in silence under the hot night
firstly searching for gold fillings and rings

before the graceless descent, then the pall
that gets in the throat. There is still no light
to speak of. Delays, misunderstandings

and denial have brought us to this pass.
Go back, load up again, and discharge.
Repeat without feeling. Those you are close

to are not exceptions. Be numb and last
a little longer. Let me enlarge
in a word: this is the way that you chose.

Go boldly now and do not count the cost.
We are together, this day of the lost.

Alan Dunnett is a former theatre director and has also been a Course Leader at both the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Drama Centre London. He is currently an external examiner for the University of West London. His poems have appeared in Poetry and Settled Status For All (2022 anthology), London Grip New Poetry, The High Window, Apocalypse Confidential, Dodging The Rain, The New European. Film-poem Assassin awarded a 2020 Best Rhythm & Poetry for Berlin Deadline at Berlin Underground Film Festival. Wrote/voiced the film-poem Interrogation, Best Experimental Film at the Verona International Film Festival 2019. A collection, A Third Colour, was published by Culture Matters in 2018.

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