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Hugh Sykes Davies

(1909-1984 / Yorkshire, England)

Poem (‘It Doesn’t Look Like A Finger...’)


It doesn’t look like a finger it looks like a feather of broken glass
It doesn’t look like something to eat it looks like something eaten
It doesn’t look like an empty chair it looks like an old woman
searching in a heap of stones
It doesn’t look like a heap of stones it looks like an estuary where
the drifting filth is swept to and fro on the tide
It doesn’t look like a finger it looks like a feather with broken teeth
The spaces between the stones are made of stone
It doesn’t look like a revolver it looks like a convolvulus
It doesn’t look like a living convolvulus it looks like a dead one
KEEP YOUR FILTHY HANDS OFF MY FRIENDS USE THEM ON
YOUR BITCHES OR
YOURSELVES BUT KEEP THEM OFF MY FRIENDS
The faces between the stones are made of bone
It doesn’t look like an eye it looks like a bowl of rotten fruit
It doesn’t look like my mother in the garden it looks like my father
when he came up from the sea covered in shells and tangle
It doesn’t look like a feather it looks like a finger with broken wings
It doesn’t look like the old woman’s mouth it looks like a handful
of broken feathers or a revolver buried in cinders
The faces beneath the stones are made of stone
It doesn’t look like a broken cup it looks like a cut lip
It doesn’t look like yours it looks like mine
BUT IT IS YOURS NOW
SOON IT WILL LOOK LIKE YOURS
AND ANYTHING YOU SEE WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU

London Bulletin, No. 2 (May 1938), 7.

Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010
Edited: Wednesday, August 10, 2011

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