by Aidan Chivers


A willow emerges from his watery roots,

Holds his rippling partner in a tight embrace –

She dangles, trusting, floating on her icy bed:

He stands, and holds, and feels, and breathes.


Across the water, in the moonlit air,

Two statues, breathless, face each other and gaze,

Formed by the hand of a shapeless craftsman

Who has fashioned them there in time and space.


Air glides soft over their ancient bodies,

And their mirrored features, stuck in time:

Frozen lips, carved together on marble faces –

Eyes gleam bright from the smoothed-out stone.


Yet warm breath reaches out, touches and strokes –

And a rosy glow returns to skin:

Blood rushes, cheeks soften, lips yield, eyes blink,

A two-fold Pygmalion and a return of selves.


There’s tree, and tree, and face, and face,

Thrown together in a setting which they did not choose.

In washed-out surroundings, drained of colour and sound

Two figures gleam and dance in their milky dust.

The Poor Print

The Oriel College Student Newspaper. Run by students, with contributions from the JCR, MCR, SCR, Staff. Current Executive Editors: Fanxi Liu, Samanwita Sen, Monim Wains and Martin Yip

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