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Lessons in Gravity: An English Merchant

By Tom Ramsden


'The fortune he amassed included profits from his

persistent

investment in the forced labour and trading

of enslaved Africans.'

 

Green worship climbs

worming against red, Virginia

cowers at an absent threshold

carved in coin, God and iron.

 

Workhouse needles stitch pillow innards

into a necklace of black spearheads,

scratching the leafed beggars who sing

beneath the boot's confession.

 

Immune, leaden disdain polishes

the ulcers of a smile richly cast,

two blind eyes dust the fortune of ledgers

whose covers ate history.

 

Midnight hands shake back a concrete slab,

the chewed-up name of an antique bloodmonger

stumbles down Kingsland Road;

centuries drip off the pommel of a sword.

 

About Tom Ramsden

Tom Ramsden enjoys writing things, but not as much as he enjoys listening to and talking about what other people have written. He used to write his name backwards when he was a kid. Tom posts his spoken word and poetry on Instagram.

20220608 Youngpoets Hayley 1496 Photo: Hayley Madden for Museum of the Home

Lessons in Gravity

Poems from Museum of the Home by The Young Poets Collective. Edited by Anthony Anaxagorou. Get a copy of the anthology from our shop

 

About the project

Lessons in Gravity is a collection of poems written by young people aged 15–24 exploring themes of power, identity and the legacy of colonialism at the Museum.