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Lessons in Gravity: Taken Down in Three Parts

By Maryam Chaudhri

Part #1 

A rotten spawn splits 

legacy into life art 

his teeth scrambling 

for 1885 

I watch each muzzled mouth 

bleach its patterns like a coin — 

traffic sells its slowest kings 

sermons sing into a wine 

fat with mould, pulpits cross legs 

four earnest disciples 

sniffing under the lens 

constantly up the bottom 

coming in, coming out 

so many stoke what can’t be touched 

a notion in parliament told us to hear 

the outcry on Twitter told us to watch 

the TV chimed at twelve, pedestrians 

walk on, the smell lingers 


Part #2 

commas protest outside your house 

you make trees swallow teachers 

ink vomits at a child’s chest 

you mourn the IKEA mirror 

a transcript shrinks its threads 

you handcuff your eyes 

dots positioned on billboards 

you don’t believe in star signs 

colons rip open your paycheck 

today they celebrate your birthday 

putting candles on deodorant 

summer’s inhalation of pride 

elephants read the room 

your compass haunts the past 

parentheses fumigate 

the marchers’ screech 


Part #3 

there is a man on top of a house 

dust cremates his victims 

snow grows a giraffe on the kitchen table 

we steal coins from the corner shop 

glowing with a national smile 

there are cages full to the brim 

merchants deny their existence 

there are voyeurs hiding scripture 

pulling time down 

the curtains are drawn 


About Maryam Chaudhri

Maryam is a poet, spoken word artist and creative. She found poetry/spoken word as a means of therapy, rebellion and expression. She has performed at BOXPARK Wembley and at Never Fade Factory in Soho, headlined 5+ spoken word shows, won 3 spoken word competitions, worked with Soumik Datta at the Southbank and produced a spoken word track with Ashley Belal Chin.

20220727 Lessonsingravity 0597 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.