David Attwooll lives in Oxford where he works in publishing and plays drums in a street band. His poems have been published in various magazines (including Smiths Knoll, Magma, The Rialto, and The Reader) and a selection is in Carcanet’s Oxford Poets 2013 Anthology. He was a winner of the Poetry Business Pamphlet competition in 2013, and his pamphlet Surfacing is published by Smith/Doorstop.
Freedom From Torture
bread, n. (Old English) bit, piece, morsel
hljeb dabo khubz
related to breowan, brew, perhaps because
of the fermenting action of yeast, leavening
bara borotho mburu
once pronounced ‘braid’ to rhyme with break
the old word hlaf survives in the modern loaf
ruti canjeero nan
Our baking group meets on Tuesday evenings
when the displaced and numb can speak
mkate kikwanga kobiz
and it helps to come and make simple things
kneading dough a haven, bread an innocent shore
panis pita pen
the smell of wholeness, home, before
Viral on YouTube and now here, flung
above the lake a swirling weft of birds.
Black but diaphanous this skirl of stars twists
and banks to its own mysterious arithmetic.
Neural networks more subtle than markets
conjure an aerial screensaver
contingent as crowds that flock the ether
to counter power, occupy tents.
Dark webs encode surprise: the tip of a system’s
critical transitions, poised, then instantly
transformed, as filings magnetise, or continents fold
and drift, framing new maps, possible worlds.
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