A Poem by our Writer in Residence, David Gilbert

The Experiment

Buoyancy is a consolation for this impossible home. Kate Rambridge

We have all been called this or that over the years. Now we are who we are.
From Inland, Tea Obrecht

Streetlights – the night mist –
my shadows thrown

in four directions at once,
we criss-cross the empty avenues, witness

to the sheen of leaves, whilst
breath caught cold

at the back of the throat, I place
one hand on this cheek,

then leaning for a moment on a warmth
I’ve never known,

I test the self, whispering
‘alone’ –

as if
I could emit, rippling,

a wavering lyric
that’s been there all along

as if something, somewhere could refute
this experiment

then sing back, or
better, further,

as if I were a verse
and the moon a lingering chorus.


© 2023 David Gilbert

David Gilbert is Writer in Residence at Bethlem Gallery, author of ‘The Patient Revolution – how we can heal healthcare’ (Jessica Kingsley Press) and ‘The Rare Bird Recovery Protocol’ (poetry collection).


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