Poetry from Jonathan Butcher

The kitchen doors swing open, revealing that darkened
carpet, a comfort we couldn’t afford to tread upon.
The smeared dishes over-pouring from the cracked
sink, the customers’ cries blotted out by the sizzle
of fat and over-heated ovens.
On that tiled floor, the essence of this town passing me
each minute, my fingers sliced by blunt knives that carried
my reflection with each peel and chop. The shredded meats
like torn tree bark, that would cling to each plate like
clotted blood upon neglected scars.
And your face that refused to frown, that smile over your
buckled legs, juggling tea cups and plates stained with
the inconvenience of our presence. Again, those doors
swing open, eating what is left of any will we mustered,
to leave it boiling in those endless pans.


Year Cycle
This year scrapes to a halt, grinding against those
curbs and half closed yards. That endless routine
that dragged through seasons now seems a brief
glimmer, like Sunday morning hallucinations.
Those same doors we pass through each week,
through that self inflected haze, now hang from
their hinges. That slight creak signalling a new
beginning for those with the energy left.
As we trade drinks and earnings, to enable
an even flow to each evening. A delusion
of solitude, that expands like spilt wine,
and stains us once more with that repeated
To settle now in those darkened afternoons,
impassive faces well and truly camouflaged.
Those puddles that evaporate at the first splash,
but never keep us dry, never any fear of drowning.


Contradiction on a Bike.
They turn slowly, their backs torn
from the stability of ideas, that never
held weight with them in the first place.
An easy slogan, that loses meaning as soon
as it escapes their lips. The scarves and thrift-
wear ensure they remain undercover, without
the risk of exposure.
And both sides repel, like dirt stained magnets,
the hands always remain unclean, to utter truths
would destroy those germs they try so hard to
Their smugness finally blocks any airways,
leaves them choking on that final ideal, that takes
them full cycle, leading back to slumbering with their

Jonathan Butcher is a poet based in Sheffield, England. He has had work
appear in various print and online publications including: Plastic Futures, Sick-Lit,
The Transnational, Drunk Monkeys, Mad Swirl, Picaroon Poetry, The Rye Whiskey 
Review and others. His second chapbook ‘Broken Slates’ has been published by 
Flutter Press.