Poems by Natalie Crick


They came out to
Watch the moon,
A chalky paleness in the sky,
Wet from an evening’s
Snow, gathering shadows
In a field and hoarding them.
Darkness waited
Dimly in the trees,
As a mother
Slowly, slowly
Withdrawing a child
From her breast,
Falling snow
Pale as milk,
The elusive shapes
Of twilight merging
Haunting, full of
Regret, a cry,
And then silence.
Night swallows all.

Birds at the Burial

Near the riverbank where we
Buried her, I light a candle

And wait, patient as a hunter
Detecting what the beast will do

In the next moment.
Someone, somewhere, will see it.

Barn owls celebrate
Over their cathedral of bones,

Screaming skies clawed with crows.
The man asleep on his lumpy mattress

Has a head full of ghosts and
Sad, erotic dreams.

Gulls rise, small white banshees
Worshipping the sun.

The Moon

Schools of moths descend,
Pulled in by waves of light when

The fields begin to steam like horses
In the cool

Like the hush of rainfall
After the sun’s marriage to the skies.

From his window, the child can see;
The young moon sulking behind the sun,

Disappearing beneath the moors
With a final sweep of chill.

An actress on stage
Applauded by the throng

One last time,
Only to return again next night

From where it grows to fullness,
A round milky glove

Asking the question:
Who will admire me next?

The Blossom Tree

In Winter, I knew them all
As the dead.

But now I love to watch them live and
Blossom beautifully;
Sun-blushed pinks and whites.

Their petals fall like small hands.
I lie under the tree
Discerning each flower.

Mother: I am breathing,
I have senses, I have you.
I want to reach out

To the child listening on the stairwell
In the dark.
I know you are afraid, my love.

Petals flutter down like kisses.
The first time you fall,
It will be peaceful like this.

Empty Remains

The remains
Of Winter dissolve like cream
From dark lawns.

I remember the forest: trees stood
Stiff as slender ghosts, crow feathers
Blackening the earth.

I am still
Blue with fever,
Eight weeks of Winter in my veins.

It is chilly and silent
Except for the hum
Of the empty refrigerator.

I can remember you
Like a bullet
Remembers the bone.

Our bodies heaving
On the floor
Of the lonely house,

Before an unwelcome terror
Let itself in.
I cannot hope to see you

Ever again.
Or, for that matter,     
Wonder why you don’t come back.


About the Author
Natalie Crick, from Newcastle in the UK, has poetry published or forthcoming in a range of journals including Interpreters House, The Chiron Review, Rust and Moth, Ink in Thirds and The Penwood Review. Her work also features or is forthcoming in a number of anthologies, including Lehigh Valley Vanguard Collections 13. This year her poem, ‘Sunday School’ was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.