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Disaster in Silence by Jenny Martin

Arts Richmond

Online - 10 September 2020

Disaster in Silence by Jenny Martin

Years after the detonation, here we have the Ferris wheel

wound with creeper and inosculated hazel through its spokes

like a helix.

The car at the crest creaks in the lightest wind. What was once lemon

is now ochre with rust. Once pistachio now moss. Once lilac now dusk.


The carousel’s horses of wood and resin, painted in creams

and frilled with peacock tails, seem impaled by golden rope tusks,

petrified mid-gallop like they’d tried to run from their endless circling.


I remember the moment of the blast. I can hear children

asking for ice cream,

and lovers spinning pennies into the fountain’s pure water.

On the wheel

they rose into the blue summer sky with a clear view of the future.


Well, I’m down to rationing my last tin of peaches.

I eat,

sitting on the steps of the carousel, between two bucking horses

whose gold gilding peels at their heels and they have this look

of open-mouth shock on their faces, such that it seems they were once



from ABOUT TIME, the 2019 anthology of shortlisted entries from The Roger McGough Poetry Prize. Copies of this Anthology can be purchased for £5 including P&P from Arts Richmond.

Disaster in Silence by Jenny Martin

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