Vicky Hampton


It is said the un-named will not grow
unless sung into existence

so maybe I did not sing, didn’t hum
like Aborigines

did not mark the path of their songlines
and dreamtracks in the planting.

Close up, there might have been
some indication of waywardness

an odd crack in the skin, or navel
where they’d held to encapsulated life

where, come March, they’d have put out
a shoot, started up on their own.

But to my naked eye, there was no sign
of anything wrong.

Then one threw a few sick roots
skywards, seeking a spirit-guide

before giving up the ghost –
songlines have a particular direction

and going the wrong way
is said to be sacrilegious. Maybe

the mechanics of those geneticists
caused a malfunction.

Whatever it was, their white skin slips
now, like soap, their insides rotted

to a renal imprint in the soil, as though
some anonymous intelligence had been there.



Vicky lives in The Forest of Dean where she runs a peer-learning poetry group. She’s performed at various poetry festivals, including Cheltenham, and has been published in several anthologies, magazines and webzines. Her poems have won in various competitions including the Welsh International in 2018.

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