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Simon Barraclough
Simon Barraclough

Simon Barraclough is the author of the Forward-finalist debut, Los Alamos Mon Amour (Salt, 2008), Bonjour Tetris (Penned in the Margins, 2010) and Neptune Blue (Salt, 2011). He is the editor of Psycho Poetica (Sidekick Books, 2012) and co-author of The Debris Field (Sidekick Books, 2013). He is currently poet in residence at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory in Surrey and working on a book and event entitled Sunspots.

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Simon Barraclough Poetry

Poems from Neptune Blue by Simon Baraclough (Salt, 2011)




God’s gobstopper:

first mouthed to be last swallowed,

blue-green baubled gobsmacker.


Without the lunar counterweight,

the grave embrace’s tidal tug,

we’d pop our dislocated poles

and shudder like a shook snow globe

and every shook snow globe on earth

would synchronise and stormy flakes

would regulate themselves and lovely chaos

might abate. And then where would we be?


Somewhere someone’s daughter asks,

“If the world is round, why is a frozen pond flat?”


This is the planet of daughters and sons,

the noisy neighbour, noise polluter,

party thrower, troublemaker,

incubator, hibernator, estivator, terminator.


Such sights. Where to start? Where will it all end?

Deep in the belly of the old star mother,

the blown red placenta, the giving one's all.




Et ellu é bellu e radiante cun grande splendore—St. Francis of Assisi, Cantico delle Creature


I heard of one who thought himself too much i’the sun.

I had to laugh. And blast a billion lethal particles

across your path. You say you want your place in the sun,

so be it, but know that I am Heaven and Hell in one,

your saintly haloes and your branding tongs,

an inquisition which no atom can resist,

a thirteen million Kelvin kiss. I must admit

I’m one that loved not wisely but too well.


Consider my poor off sprung offspring:

there’s one that’s just been taken into care;

two cold and gassy monsters so remote they never think

of picking up the phone or sending me a probe;

a starlet sucking up my limelight, barring me from all her shows;

a bully bending comets on his knee and tossing them my way;

a red-faced tin pot despot sulking in his rot;

a hellish vixen boiling off each residue of love;

an iron bullet—kryptonite to any star—poised above my heart.


But here she comes: my one success, the fertile fluke,

dreaming in her just-right, just-so bed,

her arm thrown back across her brow.

I mustn’t get too close. I mustn’t be so ardent.

I’ll learn to keep my distance, for now.


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