Skip to content

Shorter than the blink inside a blink

the National Grid will sometimes make, when you'll

turn to a room and say: Was that just me?

People sitting down for dinner don't feel

their chairs taken away/put back again

much faster than that trick with tablecloths.

A train entering the Olive Mount cutting

shudders, but not a single passenger

complains when it pulls in almost on time.

The birds feel it, though, and if you see

starlings in shoal, seagulls abandoning

cathedral ledges, or a mob of pigeons

lifting from a square as at gunfire,

be warned, it may be happening, but then

those sensitive to bat-squeak in the backs

of necks, who claim to hear the distant roar

of comets on the turn - these may well smile

at a world restored, in one piece; though each place

where mineral Liverpool goes wouldn't believe

what hit it: all that sandstone out to sea

or meshed into the quarters of Cologne.

I've felt it a few times when I've gone home,

if anything, more often now I'm old,

and the gaps between get shorter all the time.

Liverpool Disappears for a Billionth of a Second

Paul Farley


More from
Poem of the Week

Dzvinia Orlowsky

Wine of Angels

translated from the Ukrainian written by
Natalka Bilotserkivets