Thomas Goodyer: Untitled
My name is Thomas and I am currently studying for an MA in English Literature at the University of Bristol. I grew up in Brighton and have been writing properly for roughly a year. I only recently turned to poetry and this is one of the first pieces that I feel able to share.
This poem is about lots of things. On the level of narrative, though, it engages with the long poetic tradition of recalling moments of beauty in less than beautiful surroundings—in this case, recalling time spent in nature, while getting on and off a crowded train. In another sense, it is also about the way these feelings pass through us—like trains through tunnels or ants through rotting pears—as we inevitably return to more ordinary ways of considering the world.
I have nothing but longing
for that seat below the pear tree,
where the pear’s amphorae grow, tumble
and string together lengths of ants
in sweet, disarticulate mash.
We have known life in-ardently—
it is the concatenation of particle and possibility,
the choice of the trees to remain so arborescent,
the choice of the morning to scatter as falling pennies at their leaf-cold touch.
We have known it all in-ardently, forgetting how nearly it all teeters.
Certain things constructed one way might be construed another
and what appears inevitable is not at all impossible
to unseat or dethrone, but bears its own impossibility
as ants retrieve flesh from a pear’s golden carcass—
the yeasty, sun-mouldered remains of all that never happened or was never thought to
(yet passed itself off to how many hearts as though it might).
A passing thought.
The way longing spoils the inert tangle of knowledge and ribs
that are our pear-plump selves,
passes through the fantasticness of glass-toothed ticket booths
and trains eyed with angler wicks into grand, industrial darkness
and out again with unsheathed brakes,
the death-squeal of too many motives scattering into lives less than known,
a sky that is umbrella-blotted, inexact and submits unbegrudgingly
to twilight and rain suddenly appearing. The thought passes. Eyes open.
And still I feel a distance from it—
we have nothing but longing
and longing longing longing.