Two Poems

Andrew Johnston


A boat though no more than a thought
might carry us, far from

the coast, as far as
we know. But

is it a ship then,
cresting and sounding? I think,

for its boasting, it’s just a boat
drifting down a difficult river –

now and then it runs aground
and that is where we live.


It was hard to sleep at the edge of the forest.
What did you think you were hearing,

head against her chest – a woman in
loose boots wading through paper –

clomp, rustle – her heart? –
the night was full of it,

then Dawn came through the door, or
didn’t, which is why you woke –

the neighbour’s irrigation pump, the
tent, still dark, whispering something ...