Unknown Unknowns – Graham Clifford

Unknown Unknowns

Viciously calm silverback, he
is moving gold spuds up
through the mud, his great hand
coming to the surface like a net.

Now he’s hosing them
as if water goes on forever,
an expansive act of cleansing, moving
new tubers around with the jet,
the trees restless around him, this
lump of nature, a pent force in the garden,
and the trees all but touch their toes
and transporter planes bring in
a fresh round of war dead, and
he takes it all in and defuses connection,
simply refuses thoughts to knot,
just cleans potatoes on the crazy paving.

At night dinner digests in the yards of guts we add up to,
water levels peak and
the gutter funnels a tapping
that gives our sleep a beat.
Something, not very much,
wakes the whole house;
you could hear us all silent
awake.

He was lying there full of potato,
remembering cleaning the potatoes, considering
lunch then dinner tomorrow, wondering
if this rain will smear his windscreen
and I wonder, does he get something right
I don’t even know needs correcting?

Graham Clifford’s poetry has been described as having ‘coolly brutal frankness.’ His fifth collection, In Charge of the Gun, is published by the Black Light Engine Room. Graham is also published by Against the Grain and Seren. http://www.grahamcliffordpoet.com

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