poems by Harris Coverley

Drugged Humidity


I could break my own face

If I had no fear

The heat does not come

It simply is

Like it is a divine presence

A fact of all nature

All being

I suck in air

As a parched man sucks in water

The cats blame me for everything

(As they always do)

The flies hit the mirrors and windows

In mock suicide

(I am their Lord)

The moths wait for death

They are nobody’s burden

It never ends

This struggle

This dry dread

Sweat like wasted fluid

Like the body saying “NO”

And rebelling against sense

And love means nothing

Without another

And so one sits

And waits

Waits for better air

And moisture

The rains will come


The breath of God

The pouring of life

The purging of evil

Words on a wind

Tongue on the odd breeze

I can see where fever grows

As fungus envelops a dead tree

Or anxiety in an empty room


Let the rain come

Great God Pan

Let the fields flow

With green

And flowers

Like smiling children

Let fresh out of school





walking slow

bare armed

bare arsed

bare headed

in the summer rain

like being reborn

and I scream at the flowers

to show some respect

and they turn away from me


I love this time of year

naked toes clipping the edges

of patio stones

a lone crow looking on

and the trees know well-enough

not to interfere



In Your Chamber

I think of you in your chamber





thinking of me


if I’m so honoured

your flesh stirred up from milk

your hair the colour

and taste of honey

I want to kiss your neck

so you need not turn

kiss your forehead

so you need not lean back

kiss your eyes

so you need not look upon my


I wish I could be there with you

and smell what you can smell

and taste what you can taste

we could walk as King and Queen

or failing that perhaps

as the Gods of a New Light

I await the

opening your door.



Orwell’s Marmalade

The following verse is a thoroughly tongue-in-cheek response to this letter by a Mr Peter Betts of Liverpool, published in The Guardian, 26th February, 2020, quoted here in full: “It would surely be a mistake to conclude the marmalade correspondence this year (Letters, 24 February) without recalling that George Orwell had his very own recipe. However, in an unpublished essay for the British Council, entitled British Cookery, an editor commented, “Bad recipe! – too much sugar and water”.”

Oh, not a joy for all! For truth and

And liberty are too sweet for some!

“Too much sugar!” they bellow.

“Much too much water too!” they

Add. Would they rather water the

Tree of freedom with the blood of

Enemies? Or maybe of the innocent?

The blood of a slain elephant perhaps?

Nay, with nothing to offer but their

Bloated words and obese sentences,

They are not fit to spread truth upon

The toast of the common good! For

Shame sirs! We will remember you,

For we have a list…and what would

Those at Wigan indulge in, fresh from

Their agonous toiling for their capitalist

Taskmasters, if not a spare shilling

Spent on a little extra sweetness?



Blood Inheritance


the days are long since his death

waiting for the sun to set in the west

and for the moon to appear from the blue

his body is long gone

and yet we seem to feel it

watching us

in the grey light of winter

we wait for any news to come

we know it won’t

but hope is our oxygen

and our blood itself

the blood he himself gave us.

poems by Harris Coverley

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