Poetry / Toby Fitch


The intervals between trains are shrinking,
            streetlights shaking —
                        one or two blink out
            with every repercussion.

Planes fly lower and lower,
            guard dogs whimper, and
                        every so often
            a seismograph flutters

                        as if to warn us
            that the orbits are out of whack,
                        that waves rake the ocean floors
and the hairs on the backs of cats

                        stand on end
            because something unparalleled
                        is about to happen.
Light a candle, stock the cupboard —

            alarms and sirens
                        have cancelled the silence.
Pay no attention to screams or the jitters —
                        when someone bolts, everyone bolts.

Whatever you say, say nothing —
                        as a bystander
            amongst the panic and the vomit,
                        do nothing and nothing will bend.

© Toby Fitch
(published in Southerly, 2011)

“Makes me feel as if I’m reeling on my feet, as if I were facing a swooning, malevolent abyss.” —Judith Beveridge

Toby Fitch’s Rawshock was a co-winner of the Grace Leven Poetry Prize, 2012. It can be purchased directly through http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/rawshock

Rawshock Cover jpeg

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