Fushimi Inari

We walked into the dark-

-er and darker red gates and long long steps

a key between my teeth

shiny shiny boots plastic

cup of warm white wine


you’re not losing your way

we’re just tired and yes

the only way is up

I’ll have another


cup and oh, look at that view

who knew the night has a grain?

there are lights dancing across

the surface of my eyeballs



Having too many

books records chairs

rocking horses bell cloches

cacti coils of tarred rope unframed

paintings maps of the Far East children

half finished packets of tea occasional

tables frayed rugs your collection of spoons

refracting telescopes spare

boxes of salt liquorice

I still stay indoors


Having already decided

that fingerless gloves were a mistake

blaming TV serials literary American novels

boutique clothing outlets my mother two

sticky glasses of half forgotten port the romance

the romance


Having dreams of packing just one bag

opening the shutters in July and sweeping

the leaves from the front step

repainting the peeling yellow paint

sitting down to enjoy my holiday



John Boursnell is a writer living in Glasgow, Scotland.