Sample poem from Testimony


The policeman looks straight past me at the hedge.
I can smell his aftershave.
I’m talking to the woman next to me.
He’s trying to look as though he’s not listening;
I make a mental note of his number.

On the other side of the road
a line of men in uniform,
black cargo pants tucked into heavy boots,
bristle with equipment. There is one woman
with them who looks uncomfortable.
They stand across the entrance.
In the distance the drilling rig
raises a finger at the planet.

Twenty officers in hi-viz jackets run
across the road to arrest one man.
He has been filming.
So have they.
We can’t arrest them.
I ask what happens to their footage.
The liaison officer says he doesn’t know.
I ask who is paying.
He says we are.