“Scene Change”

From Will Harris's Rendang

November 16, 2020  By Will Harris

A row of Georgian
houses slopes
down to a meadow

filled with pretty
little meadow
flowers where

you could forget
these rolling
barrows started

life as stacks of
corpses piled
high with earth

and stone that
rotted back into
the land and

only after several
growth grew

to resemble
what you might
call scenic


Built by the Dutch
in the century
before last

I climb the high
steps of the
bell tower and

taking in my
hands the tongue
the clapper

ring too slowly
at first aware
of my imposture

and then too
quickly in a bid
to compensate

as it dings hollow
across the
square and down

across the car-
polluted outskirts
of the colony


Will Harris’s poetry collection Rendang is available now.

Will Harris
Will Harris
Will Harris is a writer and editor from London. His poems and essays have been published in the TLS, Granta, The Guardian, and the London Review of Books. He received a Poetry Fellowship from the Arts Foundation in 2019 and co-edited the Spring 2020 issue of The Poetry Review with Mary Jean Chan. His debut poetry collection Rendang (UK: Granta; US: Wesleyan University Press) is a Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for both the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2020 and the T. S. Eliot Prize.

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