ImageI’m again honoured and delighted to have my poetry featured in Zymbol III – the third publication from those Salem Surrealists across the pond. They allowed me to grace their second issue with The Hothouse Remains, and invited me back for more with Waves and Schooling – surely a sign of dangerous living.

Seriously though, go and check out their anthologies. All three are utterly superb. http://www.zymbol.org


Schooling 2014 Benjamin Norris read for Zymbol Magazine

Thinking back, I couldn’t see

how God shaped England – he was

just a character on a screen somewhere,

barely even watched by me.

Something foreign,

for the birds,

certainly too far away.


Those days, I paced

in smaller shoes, kicking up hours,

kicking off at school –


hesitantly praying some early developer

would be nudged my way

by unseen hands, slipping beneath

lock-tight waistbands that guarded the gap

between what I knew, and that

which I mapped out nightly, kneeling.


Much later I developed feelings,

and as my hands were not yet ruined

I wrote with pen and ink –

yet, no deity delivered

though somehow I still sought

a tossed-off thought I’d had at seven


Perfection awaits,

all jelly-smudged lenses, belief in heaven

brought via rings and playground glances

that somehow develop into

a slow-panning glossed eternity.


We bury disappointment beneath abandonment of faith –

after all, we grow out of countries

and shoes

painfully fast.


Your genes; an unseen set

of countless mannerisms, the friends

you’ll choose, the bow of your

mother’s lips, all you’ll become -


an accumulated ocean of poses

with which to hold yourself in sleep -

seasickness, a way with words,

reactions to a thief


who may or may not come

on the night you can’t drift off because

of the same sad dreams your father had -


all tightly wrapped in tiny fists

and held before the day your mouth will move,

and our music will pour forth and plenty.


When we’re together, I’m trailing in the surf,

my eyes picking away where the waves pull in

and out, following the hollows left by your feet -


always a minute or two behind, trying to find

something half-buried and dragged in to my toes,

a memory to wash off, pocket, and bring back home.


Perhaps I call, my voice fighting with the wind,

but you’re eager for the dunes, you’ve seen something

disappearing up ahead. Away you go, inland, inland.

Waves II

In much the same way the sea can touch

both sides of the Pacific’s edge at once, whilst

coughing up great huffs of cloud that soak

down on English towns, and wheel around

some distant Himalaya -


Or just like how it batters coasts and carves

continents new shapes, whilst leaving salts

on my chilled-stiff flesh, as we hobble

over sand which is not sand but sludge, and

yet still gallop back and back for more -


Our time is better spent not seeing

ourselves as fragments, floating on other shores.


Every seven seconds, we collide on the sand

we gathered when we drifted here – all old cups and papers,

residue, coasters, things to help quit smoking,

a marriage contract pulling back and forth,

ourselves from ourselves.

We lie, buffeted

by the flotsam of our years.


Outside, spring passes,

and we find with some amazement

that the moon still has a pull. The bath tub’s caked

and gummed with days. The window’s started splitting,

letting in more rain.

Somewhere, great tails

dash the seas, and we barely face each other.

In progress, for progress

I’m working on a website. 

It has been a good year for me, in regards to my poetry. I feel as though my work has continued to improve, and the number of acceptances I’ve received from publications has helped my confidence and willingness to continue.

In light of this, I’ve been trying to put together a simple website to act as something of a portfolio. It can be found here, for now: http://bnorris12345.wix.com/benjaminnorrispoetry although this obviously isn’t the finished site.

Yours, Benjamin.


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