We’d starve sooner than eat with you, or drink;
we’d vomit up, spit out, the bribes you bring
and will not slake our thirst or break this fast.

The stars, more sensitive than us, will blink;
we strain our foolish ears to hear them sing,
but time to take in soft words and tunes is passed.

This spark’s more kind than you would think;
we fondle its fire, feel its kindling
that will flame to find us first but will not last.



Martin Yates is a writer and teacher who lives and works in the West Midlands. He recently completed an MA in Creative Writing from Birmingham City University. His work has been selected for publication in the past year by The Rialto, Stand, Poetry Wales and Finished Creatures. He also has two pamphlets – or potentially a first collection – itching to be published.