11 April 2020

Poem of the Week: ‘Nope’ by Adam Crothers

Posted by John Clegg

Adam Crothers' debut collection Several Deer was published in 2016, and won the 2017 Seamus Heaney Centre Prize. A second collection, The Culture of My Stuff, will be published in May.


Try or try not, there is no do.
Auld triangle. Dew-soft shoe.
I think that I might say achoo
should Lao Tzu drop the soap.

Pressure got the drop on you
who fell in line at sixty-two
with Nancy in her stockings, who
wouldn’t, weirdly, cope.

The Spanish fly. The Spanish flu.
The Irish border. Irish stew.
Fake it big or shake it new.
Make it dazzling taupe.

Summer loving happens, true.
Some are born to fling the poo.
Some deer are trees and several Jews
and one an antelope.

I won’t speak for the caribou
who let me stay a night. A few.
The boogie blames it on the booze
that blames it on the dope.

Frostier than empires grew
the vale where rot and roses woo.
I sense the import deeply through
my cockeyed telescope.

Holy Father, please excuse
my irremediable views.
I catch your webcast, bank of rue,
and send the Pope a grope.

The petals on a wet bough blues;
the currency we can’t but use.
Leave your hack on, Mammon. Strew
some slippers on the slope.

Sunken in the cud that chews
the inhalations of the moos,
I have my fill and yet refuse
the offer of a rope.

Whisht your moping, Mary Sue.
If you knew. Oh if you knew.
Here it is, son: do, or do
not. There is no hope.