Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

‘On the margin’ – a poem by Stephen Miller


    On the margin


On the margin
of existence
on the deep-sea floor
between chimneys of boiling water
and venting carbon
where no life should sensibly occur
shrimp-like creatures cleave to life
indeed, do flourish
on the edge of tolerance
in a sightless world of simple purpose

Here they say all beginnings came
in this hot soup of micro-
organism, annelid and gastropod
worm and crustacean

Inheritors of the cosmos
scratching out an existence
scuttling a route up
on an undying chain of sufferance.