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featured poet, Christopher North

Christopher North


The left kerb frames.
       Catch the trees though
and the lamppost with the blast hole.
Put the boy left, just off foreground -
       has to be seen first,
the kerb directs – his face, that thigh.
Then to the cart,
       the bent up bicycle wheel
the other, spokes splayed out.
Need those houses. Essential horizon.
       Mount the lens higher,
need depth of field.
F22 – 1/30th sec – 40mm
The one with the hipped roof first.
       Could be Hemel Hempstead,
I need that.
The eye goes along the other houses,
       sees the garden trees, then tracks back,
sees the tank.
Then the soldier, his helmet,
       the gun turret.
He’s looking right at you.
What will the eye do then?
       Go back to the boy?
No, it’s caught by the other body.
It’s by the jeep
       with the treaded spare tyre.
Can’t see a face.
So you’re back to the cart,
       the boy, the bare thigh –
He could be asleep.
Then maybe the fallen leaves,
       some muddied like just after rain.
I have my shot.
Could crop out the stretcher.

Christopher North

First Prize in ‘The Mayor’s Prize’ Enfield, Poetry Competition 2011
and published in the competition anthology