A Lucky Catch and The Flood by Anthony Holness

A Lucky Catch

Grandma left Jamaica alone,

not mentioning my grandfather

even once upon a slip of time.

His face her best kept secret,

like the lucky brass pipe hidden

under her bed all my childhood.

‘Why is it lucky Grandma?’

A pebble found in Gut’s river rubs

smooth with luck, that dull pipe

diverted condensate from boilers,

too charmless to plumb into a poem.

Like holding onto a lucky catch,

A trickle of the past drained out

when I held the pipe: it weaponised

to beat back violent attacks, pound

out luck made with her own hands

sailing alone to England. I was lucky

Grandma never needed my Grandfather.


The Flood

Downstairs had flooded overnight;

drenched curtains, floating furniture:

my parents’ divorce had finally broken

its banks, pouring through every gap

our house offered, lapping into

my sleep like water into a cave.

Water tastes of silence: soft waters

of Yorkshire, rich with minerals;

tap water dad called Thames brew.

I swam out and began to float in

flavours only the drowning know,

gulping my reflection on the surface

of flowing water. But when I looked

I never saw my face; I saw an open cave,

waves exploding into its mouth.

I saw years dissolve into currents

of a flowing place I had become:

a single body of water where

separate lives still meet as one.


Anthony Holness lives and works in London. His poetry and short stories have been published by Popshot, Eunoia Review and The Fiction Pool.

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