Lessons in Gravity: An English Merchant
By Tom Ramsden
'The fortune he amassed included profits from his
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.
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.