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21st century poetry

in this time   when even
breathing is a danger
from running hard just to be
at the back of the pack
from the hundreds of years
bearing down on your chest
breathe   less
take up less space do not be
so obvious   so demanding
breathe   less
stand quietly in the shadows
do not ask for your share

breathe   less
try not to draw attention to yourself
as you go about your business
but if you are waiting
for things to change
do not hold your breath 
instead   draw it all in
and blow this house down

Nick Allen


Nick Allen’s latest book, between two rivers, is a collaboration with the York-based artist Myles Linley (Maytree Press, 2019).


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