Light at the edge of the world

It takes both of us
to pull the door open
before I follow her
up to the light room,
climbing what appears
to be a thousand
spiral steps. At the top,
leaning on a bent rail
worn by old hands,
I am breathing hard,
like a Fleet Street runner,
as I ask whatโ€™s happened
to the lighthouse keepers.
Weโ€™re automated these days.
A man comes
biannually to clean.
She tidies sun-curled
leaflets in their cracked
plastic rack. The bulbs
are state of the art,
she says, so the machine
does one long burst
and three short flashes
just as weโ€™ve always done.
I ask again, whatโ€™s happened
to the lighthouse keepers?



Matt Nicholson is a poet from East Yorkshire, he has been widely published, including three collections of poetry. He has performed all over Britain, and most recently made a film in support of his latest collection, Small Havocs. Website: