Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

John McCullough

NIGHT WRITING

NIGHT WRITING

NIGHT WRITING

In humid months, at the estate’s unwatched edge
the boys hook up for an after-hours cigarette

before trashing field gates. Dazzle of white Reeboks, bling,
practised geezer-laughs rev-revving

with the engines of graffiti tagged bangers.
Customised stereos thump out this week’s garage,

the race kicking off in a blizzard of chalk dust,
a bouncing charge up the crumbling, fossil-built rise.

Death and dew ponds can’t stop them while they swerve
past quivering teasel, conquer the bone ridge’s turn,

skeins of wool lifting from gorse as banners
for the night’s whooping, fist-raising winners.

Further off, the crews unite for a slow drift, melt into hills
but leave the empty sky with headlamp trails:

blazing ghosts still performing their necessary work,
still scribbling their names on the dark.
Close

NIGHT WRITING

In humid months, at the estate’s unwatched edge
the boys hook up for an after-hours cigarette

before trashing field gates. Dazzle of white Reeboks, bling,
practised geezer-laughs rev-revving

with the engines of graffiti tagged bangers.
Customised stereos thump out this week’s garage,

the race kicking off in a blizzard of chalk dust,
a bouncing charge up the crumbling, fossil-built rise.

Death and dew ponds can’t stop them while they swerve
past quivering teasel, conquer the bone ridge’s turn,

skeins of wool lifting from gorse as banners
for the night’s whooping, fist-raising winners.

Further off, the crews unite for a slow drift, melt into hills
but leave the empty sky with headlamp trails:

blazing ghosts still performing their necessary work,
still scribbling their names on the dark.

NIGHT WRITING

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère