Poem of the Week: ‘Coffee House’ by Ed Butterfield

Cultured Vultures Poem of the Week

This decision was the hardest one we’ve had to make so far at Cultured Vultures for Poem of the Week. Each position was argued more as different voices tried to bring the favourite out on top but there could only be one winner. After a lot of consternation and debate, we managed to choose the poem that stood out above the rest.

3rd Place
Kevin D LeMaster – ‘Ward 1940’

He would shoot half moon shadows
from the ceiling with his cap pistol,
making the sounds a gun makes
then staring at my legs as If they
grew monkey hair

every day they would wheel another crazy
into my midst but since my legs could
never walk, I was constant as spring
and half as love drunk, for spring brought
a measure of hope

the sap was full in the swollen maple then
and I longed to sit underneath and feel
cottony moisture spray my body with
a briefness that made me forget
that you are beside me

2nd Place
Trish Hopkinson – ‘Christ of the Abyss’

They found a clay mold of you, but your arms had gone missing.
You too had lost a hand, knocked off by a boat’s anchor.
They pulled you up out of the bay to repair the bronze stump,

severed where the wrist and hand once stretched to the surface.
You stare blankly, beyond the mirrored blue, your arms reaching out
as if you’re letting something go, as if it’s gotten away from you.

Your colorless eyes reflect the emptiness, the longing for heaven.
Your feet permanently affixed to a plate, mounted to concrete.
Divers find their way to you, for love of the sea, for love of your story

1st Place
Ed Butterfield –‘Coffee House’

It is a cold, crisp December morning.
The coffee house is busy, as ever.
Without a thought, we gravitate towards table six in the window.

You take the armchair by the antique gramophone that passes a silent vigil in the corner.
It doesn’t play.
Instead, King Cole’s voice rasps gently over the new stereo.

I like it here. I like the vintage feel.
The vintage blackboard with chalk written prices.
You prefer things to be a little more modern.

I decide – large cappuccino and full breakfast.
You decide – regular latte and breakfast bagel.
No butter.

I am trying to explain.
To make our coffee, there must first be the grinding of the bean.
To make our breakfast, there must first be the cracking of the eggs.

You won’t listen.
When sustenance arrives, I eat hungrily.
You sit in silence, only pushing at your food.