Mark Mayes

Mark Mayes has had poems and stories published in various magazines and anthologies. 2017 saw the publication of his novel, The Gift Maker. Mark also enjoys writing songs. 


I didn’t find it in the whisky glass,

that glowing countryside of peace that stays

beyond the studied kiss, the loveless pass.

I found it in her awkwardness, her ways

of being neat, of sitting on my lap

when I would least expect, and of her back,

soft freckled, as her hands turned on the tap

in me. And now it is her girlfulness I lack.

I didn’t find it in the Spanish wine

I poured into her mouth, then from my own,

stream red into her throat, the liquid line

that sought the heart of her she had not shown.

These books surround my drying skin and I

cannot find words to write upon her sky.


Their names circle a hole in water,

descend to hiddenness.

A train moves against a city in the rain.

You take a photograph of a church

through a deep window,

as light fails,

as desire falls to distance.

A wedding in a forest;

the horses’ feet throw

white powder behind

the frill of bells;

you clasp a gift

to a borrowed coat.

A penny bag of stale cakes

swings from your young hand;

as you tramp from Tufnell Park

through Archway, by Highgate,

and further, to find woods waiting.