Kate Noakes – Two Poems

Street prince

Phone box boy sleeps in a glass coffin,

knees tucked up round his face,

the booth is steamed by his warmth.


I don’t think of him again till the top

of the metro steps at night.

He greets me from under his hood,

with an inky hand shakes

coins in half a Coke bottle, says thanks.


He’s not my child, but he needs me today

before he curls up

and waits to be buried in the sky.



 Three bottles of thick milk

on the doorstep, day in, day out,

my childhood a race to its creamy

gold top against my sister

and clever blue tits; disappointment

on frozen mornings in lollies of foiled ice

we’d have loved if it were summer.


That was when birds were well-fed,

before the unkind woman snatched

thirds of a pint from our recess, before

skinny soya, black tea and forgetting Britishness,

before I knew my body could bring it

forth, could gorge and tingle, burst

and overflow for a tiny mouth

to sore my nipples into hard fruit.


Kate Noakes, Welsh academician and poet, is co-founder of Paris Lit Up (parislitup.com). Her most recent collection is I-spy and Shanty from corrupt press (2014). Her next, Tattoo on Crow Street, is out with Parthian in 2015.  She blogs at boomslangpoetry.blogspot.com

One thought on “Kate Noakes – Two Poems

  1. Noakes’ mastery of a certain artlessness depends on her firm control of syntax as the sentences unfold somewhat breathlessly. It’s an art of touch, flesh to flesh. You listen, watching her face.

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