Paul McGrane is the co-founder of the Forest Poets poetry collective in Walthamstow and he’s also been The Poetry Society’s Membership Manager since 2006.
He runs the Poetry@3 open mic at the Poetry Café, London, on the first Thursday of the month. In 2016 he was Highly Commended in the YorkMix Poetry Competition and Longlisted in the South Bank Poetry Competition. His debut poetry collection, Elastic Man, is published with Indigo Dreams http://www.indigodreams.co.uk/paul-mcgrane/4594354277
Death is always asking me for poems
Death is always asking me for poems,
jealous of the time I spend on politics
and love. It’s not what she needs from
this relationship, she says. The juicy
death she dangles I find so hard to resist.
Like the girl who lost her mother’s hand,
the man who threw his baby from the tower.
The more she demands the more I decline,
even when we reach an anniversary. She’s
tried to simplify the deal, sends me handy
rhyming words for murder, a long list
of lives she’ll claim are accidents of birth
or accidents. She knows that when the living
have read how she must feel she will be happy.
Welcome to my Country
Dear prospective citizen
thank you for your application
a State response will soon be sent
but here’s mine:
I hope this soil will not for long
be foreign to your feet
that my weather
will be your weather
that my cities will offer their freedom
my countryside the right to roam
I’ll be standing in Arrivals
with your name