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In a Darker Vein

By David Cameron

HE: In a darker vein

My blood will rise to mangle and to crush

Your hopes of getting underneath my skin

Then let you in, to listen

While it conducts a symphony of pain

This blood will horrify

Topple you in a head-rush

Lie in wait when you think it on the wane

It will pacify

With one eye on the spoils, then flare again

In a still darker vein

There’s no refrain

SHE: At least yours is a symphony of pain

I’ve heard discordant noise

From bigger boys

Who ran away, as they are wont to do

Thanks, but I let myself in

While you busied yourself with meat I’d thrown

You think my blood can’t rise or ‘flare’

In a darker vein?

Look, you’ve always known

I’m there with you

The refrain is, there’s no refrain

I can do menace with a straight face too

David was born in Glasgow in 1966 and now lives near Belfast. His collected poems, The Bright Tethers, was published in 2016. He’s also had two books of fiction published, Rousseau Moon and The Ghost of Alice Fields. In 2014, David received the Hennessy Literary Award for Poetry.

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