Helen Calcutt




Burial in Rub’ al Khali

Because she was a girl
he sought to bury her.
Under the open spaces

between the hurting spaces
where the moon hung fat.
The cut of light between hills

gleamed phosphorus over his brow
where the black bird
planted its black foot.

Sand hovered like a god.
His hands bled salt
as they pitched the bleak fire

from the earth, the pollen
of the world’s wasteland
dancing like a wasteland.

And all the while
the little girl brushed the sand-fall away.
As it fell sideways

over the darkening of his face.
As the father dug his daughter’s grave
she brushed the sand-fall away.



Helen Calcutt is an English poet choreographer and dance artist. Associated with the traditions of European verse, her work has received global publication, featuring in journals such as Equinox , The London Magazine, The Salzburg Review, Poetry Scotland, and The New Yorker. She is founder of radical contemporary project écriture corporelle  – a ‘bodily writing’ which launched at the internationally acclaimed Poetry International Festival in July 2014. The project is set to tour extensively across the UK in 2015. She is the author of  Sudden rainfall her first collection of poetry, published by experimental English publishing house Perdika Press. http://helencalcutt.org/

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