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Image by Caroline Forbes

Poem introduction

This poem was written durting the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Playground

Playground

dark brown eyes
scanning dusty tarmac
a boy on a swing

head down
mouth humming
a boy swinging intensely

before dusk he must go
to his grandmother's house
on the edge of the city

alone on a swing
thinking on a swing
a boy

his mother will stay home
she won't go to the shelter
people here are afraid of shelters
they remember last time

the chains of the swing
they clank they creak
the boy's head fills
with explosions

a boy on a swing


from The Shadow Knows - Poems 2000-2003 (Bloodaxe, 2004), copyright © Adrian Mitchell 2004, used by permission of the author

Recordings

Adrian Mitchell Reading from his Poems

1A Flying Song

2Icarus Schmicarus

3My Mother and Father or Why I Began to Hate War

4Remember Suez?

5Veteran with a Head Wound

6The Dust

7Nostalgia - Now Threepence Off

8Fifteen Million Plastic Bags

9Song about Mary

10Elephant Eternity

11A Year Passes, as Years Do

12Life Is A Walk Across A Field

13My Friend the Talking Elevator of Tokyo

14In My Two Small Fists

15to all our friends

16Englanding

17Leaflets

18What to Do if You Meet Nijinsky

19The Ballad of the Familiar Stranger

20Tissue Paper Flowers

21Not Fleeing but Flying

22The Last Goofs on Earth say Sorry to their Favourite Star

23The Famous Battle

24Playground

25Roundabout

26Pour Soul

27Thanks to my Dog in an Hour of Pain

28Disguise

29King Lear's Fool Waves Goodbye

30William Blake says: Every Thing That Lives Is Holy

Books by Adrian Mitchell