‘Silence’: a poem by Jack Houston

Photo by bennoptic on Unsplash




A squirrel scampers the wall of the nature reserve
In this idyll I’m not sure I fully deserve,
Four moorhens, the family of swans,
And from a thicket a robin in full song,
Two young humans sharing a kiss,
And here floating, alone, a dead fish,
Its glassy stare lifting from the canal,
Unavoidably certain, utterly final.
The wind will keep on blowing through the trees.
The rat will slip the verge after its needs.
Someone’s dog enjoying a lead made loose
As I return the glare of this dead-eyed truth
In between two quiet, moored-up boats:
Our lives will carry on until they won’t.


Jack Houston

About Jack Houston

Jack Houston lives in London with his family. He works as a library assistant and his publicly funded online Lockdown Poetry Workshops are still ongoing (jack.houston@hackney.gov.uk for details). He is author of The Fabulanarchist Luxury Uprising (Emma Press, 2022).