David Ralph Lewis: Three Blackout Poems


Another country, another person awake in a motel listening to cars passing. I am listening too.

Beyond, the night clerk stares at a glowing blue box, thinking of all his decisions, hoping

half awake, for morning.

A lizard darts across the dry stones then turns to look right at me but

I’m just waking on a different continent. We ripple into one another, the night is always fading.

Our voices were buried in the constant clack

of printing presses churning up endless

lies and distractions. Our voices were

a flickering torch, with failing batteries

signalling over a dark plain on a cloud

smothered night. Our words were scrawled

on walls by unseen hands, left as neon thorns

and directional signs. We talked in whispers,

ignoring the raging wind, until our voices

became a flood and swept us all away.

In the weak spots they whisper charms and fabrications into waiting ears

Those tempted often fade at sunset like a dream moments after waking. We do not know where they go, what realms they may roam through

I have ignored their strange songs carried on the breeze, in quiet fields But now I hear their voiceless speech over soft waves, on an empty beach.

Now I listen for a precious second, too long, thinking I am immune, hoping I am unique, even as my skin turns ever more translucent.

David Ralph Lewis is a Bristol based blackout poet and short story writer. His debut collection of short stories Amber Stars: One Night of Stories is available now. On his website, David maintains a blog about writing, art and politics and posts daily newspaper blackout poems on Instagram. When not writing, he enjoys taking photos occasionally and dancing badly at gigs. His Twitter is here