Wild Court

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

Two poems by Mat Riches

Mat Riches recently published his debut collection, Collecting the Data, with Red Squirrel Press. Below are two new poems.


The time to cut a stick
is when you see it in the hedge

he said on one of our walks,
before they became too much.

A countryside carpe diem;
it was the soundest advice
he ever gave me, a grasping
of the nettles I could understand.

You’d think, with him gone so long,
I’d have sussed the difference
between which sticks to cut
and which to come back for later.

The Kimono Is Open Now

Someone has torn up the hymnbook,
so thanks for squaring the circle
with me, old friend. We’ve not exchanged
ideas in the meat space for years,

and I want to touch base in full.
The cheeses have been pinging me
to action the stakeholders’ need
for checking we’re in alignment

but it’s not boil-the-ocean-time
just yet. Hold tight in your swim lane
to make sure we can keep the fish
on the table without bandwidth.

The laying hens are in beta,
it makes sense that by close of play
we should take this thing next level
with an idea showergasm.

We could put change agents in charge
of putting records on, then see
who dances, who drinks the Kool-Aid
and who punches the puppy here.

For half a hot nano-sec there
I felt the wagons circling back
to reconnect the neural dots
with our first merry-go-round ride.

We both saw it flashing across
the hard dashboards of our faces.
I watched you downloading a time
when we knew who we thought we were,

but back the truck up, park those thoughts
and shift them to neutral thought space.
The low-hanging fruit needs on-boarding,
and there’s no harvest if we go there.