David Ralph Lewis

Poet and Author


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04 December 2020, Category: poetry


We are unified euphoria,
one organism joined together,
twitching, harmonising, swaying.

We dance with the same body.
Our heart it beats as one.

We combine to exalt the music,
exalt the beat and exalt the bass,
exalt our limbs, our skin, our sweat.

We dance with the same body.
Our heart it beats as one.

then my stomach lunges
like a rabid dog
and I remember.

We dance with the same body.

and I try to push my way out
but flesh becomes a wall
and I am trapped in the maze
of so many warm bodies.

Our heart it beats as one.

A gentle hand of blue
creeps around the blackout blind,
strokes my cheek, raises goose bumps,
beckons me back to another
reality, another morning.
I am still a dream of myself.
Part of me has evaporated in the night.

My hand twitches for a screen
yearning to download today’s
minor triumphs and major disasters,
catastrophic headlines and pet pictures,
the nauseating loop of half ideas, niche jokes,
and all those graphs trending upwards.

I resist. I will not turn on the wifi,
not just yet. I will listen to my breath
sudden and rapid, see it form and vanish
a spectre in the cold. I will hear
my heart play a drum solo
all kick pedal and cymbals
linked in complex time signatures.

I open the blind and the world pours in slow,
a syrup of light, viscous and thick.
Bare tree branches are molten.
The clouds are cooling coals, glowing red.
From distant, dissonant engines,
the dawn chorus emerges, a beat
of wing and beak, dream remnants
transformed into song. I look to the telephone
wires, veins and arteries spun from gold,
see how they connect us all, and I feel
so many eyes stirring from sleep
so many dreams flickering and fading
so many hands wrapped around others
or searching in the half light
for someone’s absent touch
so many hearts synchronised without realising.

I plead to the chimneys: be well.
Oh, please let all of us be well.

We dance with the same body.
Our heart it beats as one.


This was written for the wonderful Bristol Tonic., which I co-headlined last night. It was my first headlining slot ever and I was so grateful to be asked. The night has been such a warm, welcoming space to share new work and has been a lifeline during this year especially, when we are all scattered and separate. Thanks so much to them, it was an honour.

You can watch the night back here.


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