Questions by Nick Cooke

what is it what started it what does it mean

I ask not the window but the light

above the nails on the professorial head

and the brows creasing as the questions multiply


where are you where have you been where will you be

I ask not as your friend but your teacher

once all the shrieking and mayhem dies over

amid the dusty air the howling refrain


who is it who the hell is it who can you be

I scream it not but whisper in your coils

the hopes of a tribe and the urgings of our king

burrowed down in the soul-knot umbilicus


why mountains why meadows why in the sea

swimming needs no water on a weightless planet

excelsior resounds to the tune of landslides

and marigolds thrive as long as the sun protects


how movement how freedom how with the chaste oaths

and the briars around me binding fast

I question not as a scholar but a disciple

owing existence to the frozen rites


when christening when marriage when the murder

a stone through the dark glass from the inside

as the armoured flesh presses from without

and the spears are poised at the darkened altar


Nick Cooke has had poems published in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Dream Catcher magazine and the anthology Poems for a Liminal Age, as well as the Agenda journal online supplement and websites such as Poetry Space and I am not a silent poet. His poem ‘Process’ was Highly Commended in the Segora Poetry Competition (July 2015). He has also had four poems accepted for To Kingdom Come, an anthology to be published in 2016 on the theme of political killing. He is currently working on his first collection.


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