Text by Melanie Branton

For as long as I can remember,
I have always lived in text.

When I still tottered and toddled on my feet,
I trod more surely through the corridors of narrative,
planking over the potholes in my vocabulary
in a rush to get to the end of the story.

New words were exotic animals
freshly created by me,
a chubby-cheeked, wide-eyed God.
I saw that they were good.

Now, lazing in the hammock
of the downstroke of a ‘y’ or ‘g’,
swinging on the crossbar of a ‘t’,
inhaling the Parma violet scent of the ink,
it is hard sometimes to credit
that my white-leafed, soft-palmed paradise

is for others a dense and hostile jungle.
For them, words are dagger-toothed man-eaters
that lurk within those strange and spiky,
ink black, thick-packed trees.


Melanie Branton is the 2015 Bristol regional Hammer and Tongue slam champion. She has also had poems published in a variety of online and print journals, including Prole, Ink, Sweat & Tears and The Interpreter’s House.


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