poetry pf header


home>poets>Stephen Duncan

Stephen Duncan     about Stephen      more poems

events listing


home button poets button features button

links button shop button about ppf button email ppf button



prizewinner in the Poetry London Competition;

published in collection, Ghost-Walking, 2004,

Smith/Doorstop Books, ISBN 978-1-902382-65-4






Losing our way we have to stop

in the centre of a forest,

black pines against the midnight ink.

I switch off the engine,

listening in the silence for the coast

as the lights and radio die.


Climbing from sweat and seats

to stretch my cramp,

I walk into the shadows,

release myself deep into the trees,

the urine steam

lifting the menthol of sap.


Feeling my way back to the car,

I return for my small son

slumped forward in the seat-belt sling,

yoke my arms under his

and raise him from sleep,

as if to save him from drowning.


Resting his bare feet on the toes of my boots

I ghost-walk him along the track-

one silhouette inside another.

And as he leans forward against my arm

like the figurehead of a ship,


I undo his flies and whisper-

please pee now, it is so late,

you’re already too heavy for me-

and with the sleep-wriggle of his mouth

the surge of his flow

spreads through the forest.


This strange heritage in my arms,

his small cock

creates another flow into the unknown:

a man makes a man

to piss further into the dark.


I guide him back into his flies

and stagger as two puppets

back to the car,

flick his drops from my hand

and can hear now the sea.


Stephen Duncan


last update:

Stephen Duncan photo

e-mail Stephen

in the shop ...
collection -
Smith/Doorstop Books


© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet
site feedback welcome