Christian Ward

Three Poems


Remembering insects in Genova, Italy

Insects here are so dark
it is difficult to distinguish
them from night. Distracted
by their ebony, I lose track

of the precision of each jaw
and sting, delicate and powerful
as earbones. That’s the funny
thing about colour, it can reassure

you one moment, deceive you another.
The subtlest changes register
like tremors leading up to an earth
quake, hitting when we least expect it.



Everything roosts
in something,
the nesting rain
tells me. Swans

stitch new habitats
out of the river

and reeds, the moon
moves in a sack

of sky. Conversations
huddle in the colour

coded nerves of a pay
phone. My baby son

rests his head against
my chest, the sound

of a bird that has travelled
far echoing in his breathing,

followed by rustling,
as if building shelter.

History Lesson

We regurgitated A-Bomb, Nagasaki,
Hiroshima like wasps building

a nest out of everything that has
been chewed upon, deliberated.

Words bitter as newsprint turned
our stomachs. Some rushed to bathrooms,

others sat and breathed deeply
to cleanse out the mushroom clouds

suspended inside of us. One, a boy
who would later die from cancer, went

outside and stuck his tongue out
as if expecting to taste snowflakes

because everything suddenly became
white, so beautifully white.

Christian Ward is a 28 year old London based poet. His work has appeared in Diagram, The Kenyon Review, Welter and elsewhere.