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Ramona Herdman



the poet

Ramona Herdman lives in Norwich and is a committee member for Café Writers. Her most recent publications are her poetry collection Glutone of The Telegraph’s 20 best poetry books of 2022 to buy for Christmas – A warm and snouting thing and Bottle.

the poems

Prosody nil, Athletico nil

00:00 / 01:43

            There’s something about the boundary of a sport

            (the edge of snooker’s baize and the audience 

            in the dims beyond, the mere line that marks 

            the end of a netball court mid-playground) 

            that’s so bathetically hypothetical, so 

            sillily literal. So little.

            You have your umpire in his high chair, 

            with a picketty ladder, that makes him look 

            pyramid-topper-tiny as he ascends.

            Perspective makes your Grecian diver 

            shrink into a hoppy fly as he rises 

            effortfully to the highest board. 

            What’s the point of your immortal stats, 

            your gyre of rules? For your outside ones 

            there’s always rain to rain it off or 

            the sun in your eyes. It’s background noise:

            a briefly disturbing mobby roar 

            over the rooftops, interrupting life.

            But then again, sometimes it’s winter midnight 

            at 4pm and the stadium’s flooded full 

            of its own self-importance of light

            and it’s the one cube of the world left,

            looking in on itself like a ring-road supermarket 

            or a late-night garage in the desert

            or a UFO landed on a world stalled 

            in the era of bicellular worms. 

            And if you know you’re one of those worms, 

            what can you do but play? Crawl/hop/vault

            best as you can to worship at the altar

            of the line. What else is there?

Church Lane, Eaton

00:00 / 00:49

            I’m always reminded, amidst the carpark’s Porsches,

            of the prof in Cardiff who keyed his neighbours’ Benzes,

            custom SUVs and Audis with Latin phrases.

            I skulk teenagerwise by the doughnut peaches.

            I hate Duchy everything. But my heart is ashes

            as I cruise the deli counter’s Atlantis of cheeses,

            the up-lit liquor shelves’ stained-glass riches.

            This place is on my list, for when everything crashes:

            you’ll find me in the dairy aisle’s furthest reaches,         

            dream-deep in clotted cream, heavy as Christmas.

A house always wants
to sit down

00:00 / 00:38

                        The stone wants to be sand. 

                        The timber wants to be soil.

                        It wants to slump into swamp. 

                        To subside through the cycle. 

                        To lie down in a puddle 

                        and breathe water beetles. 

                        It loves the larvae 

                        blistering under its soffits. 


                        Home-tending is a constant exhortation:

                        Stand up straight, goddammit! 

                        A lifetime position 

                        as Generalissimo Admin.  

Publishing credits

Prosody nil, Athletico nil: Magma (84)

Waitrose, Church Lane, Eaton: Raceme (Issue 13)

A house always wants to sit down: Spelt Magazine (Issue 6)


S h a r e

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