Rob Yates is a writer currently journeying through New Zealand and originally from Essex. He has released a small collection of poetry entitled ‘The Distance Between Things’. He has also had work appear via Agenda, Envoi, Bodega, and other literary magazines. Some of his writing and recordings can be found through



Poems for morphrog26


The Pool


People would throw their dogs over the wall.
Caught in the act, they’d say – ‘It cost too much.’

We gave unwanted things new names. We left
after two weeks, tired of the skin disease.

Spinning fire from stumps, I hid my face
as termites gurgled out, legs billowing.

‘Shut up and learn to love yourself.’
A fridge magnet, a tyrant, a burning yogi –

I can’t recall. Unleashed, they chased school kids.
Chained, slept like pools of treacle until noon.

One volunteer was punctured to the shin.
‘Hurts more than my divorce,’ she said. ‘Send help.’

Sometimes, I held onto my partner like a
chewed rope left in the yard, not loving life.

Having saved each other, or so I dreamed,
we shut down like an unwanted parade.

Old mutt in my bed, teeth all over the toys
and the pack still baying. Bruises fat as toads.

‘We started with children,’ said the owner,
‘But children were too expensive. It had to stop.’

Wildness – measured by how much skin left on
your hand after you’ve pulled away, and shrugged.

© Rob Yates


In my head, I place my head into a bowl of ice water.
I want there to be petals of undisturbed, unseen colour,
from undiscovered plants, floating there.

I suspect they’d get in the way.
No one has ever seen a perfect circle –
perfect form is spoiled by every moving.

Bellowing underwater confirms all speech
is bubble – phantasmic, playful and bound.
My private pool is round but not perfectly so.

I spend hours resting objects upon the ice,
testing the weight and surface of things.
Shouts travel miles under the sea,

booming in no direction. Inside this
ceremonial whirl the call wrecks
upon its own collapsing edge and echo,

impossible patchwork of ripple and wave.
At night there is a blue halo round the bowl,
blistered and spinning like the moon,

a constellation of escaping sound.
With melody, it’s the relations between notes
that count – not actual noise, or where it starts.

© Rob Yates