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This street was once a market
where a raven bowed down and pecked

a boy’s face. As he fainted the others
came to feast. They used to steal walnuts

and drop them into the road. Cars broke the shells
and they ate the insides. Once they came

into our house and tore into our parents’
eyes, lips, tongues. Our mother broke her skull

on the floor and our father broke
his on the stove. They shredded the brains

offering us pieces as if we were one of their kind
or they knew those hands had fractured

our bones. The oldest one made the sound, arkam,
which means, they’re dead, my friends.



Tom Bland is a poet who also writes other stuff like flash fiction, monologues and fragments but his one true love is poetry, and he co-organises Poetry at the Room in Tottenham Hale. He wrote ‘Arkam’ under the tuition of Jacqueline Saphra, who recommended he put the piece into couplets. He is in love with the prose poem, and continues to study at the Poetry School, and has been published in Lunar Poetry.


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