In London

after 'In Jerusalem' by Mahmoud Darwish

Niall McDevitt

In London, within the crumbs and shards of Roman wall,
I walk from epoch to epoch, a tour-guide, stumbling
into the black-and-white facade of Tudorbethan houses.
Below street-level—in an underground car-park—
is one of the ‘holy of holies’. Its chancel extends eons.
Here, an invisible street, Shakespeare rose. (Humans rise.
How? They work and play in a theme-park called Eden).
Outside is a huge chunk of London Wall, with steps,
like a Greek amphitheatre. Nearby is a herb garden,
with tangles of mandrake, next to Barber-Surgeons Hall.
There were hand-fastings in this quarter, much adultery,
and on Ascension Day things really began to take off…

I pulled white roses, walked Milk Street to Silver Street
among Marranos and Huguenots, talking in honeyed English,
looking into the hearts of the people I lived with, a poetic
piss-doctor. I found that with a mere flourish of the quill
I could transfigure lives, gild the human agon. My clients
even called me ‘Master’. Some complained of wars,
plagues, fires, floods, but took the incarnations I offered.
The queen died slowly. Then my brother. Then I too exited
as she ‘the thousand’
                                      she the shadow-swan
                                                                                played on.

In an underground car-park, I pray for the whale we’re in
who ride the British Hieroglyphick, strangers here.

 

The Current Issue

The current issue is packed with poems, reviews and interviews.

View Online copy »

News

The Wolf 35 is now out and available at stockists. Click here to buy online

Issue 35 is our last print issue. We will accept single issue subscriptions until this issue runs through, or for requested back issues (depending on stock).

Thank you to all who have supported the magazine since 2002. We hope to develop this site into an archive of larger online materials in the future.

The Wolf is now available to buy as a digital PDF copy via Paypal. £3/$5 for the latest issue.

The Wolf - Digital version

Buy

» Buy latest issue & subscribe
» Outlets that stock The Wolf

Audio

Hear the Wolf poets read their work.

Click here >

The Wolf at the Poetry Library

The Wolf on poetrymagazines.org.uk - all of issues 6, 10 and 11