Author photo by Jonathan Mills
(from ‘A Short Film About Love and Fate and Death’)
Matthew Hedley Stoppard was born in Derbyshire in 1985.
His poetry has been published in a variety of anthologies,
newspapers and journals since 2004, most recently Magma,
Iota, Cake, The Morning Star and the Grist anthology
A Complicated Way of Being Ignored.
A recording of his poetry, Insect Eucharist and Other Poems,
was released on seven-inch green vinyl by Adult Teeth in
2012. He has found success in a number of competitions,
including the 2009 and 2010 Hastings International. After a
brief career as a postman, he now works as a journalist, and
lives in Leeds with his wife and son.
published by Valley Press on the 15th May 2013, and was
included in The Guardian's Readers' Books of the Year.
More than circumstance in common
Shivering infant in the swimming baths
we’ll have you home before long,
back to your nursery with circus wallpaper,
muffled in cellular wool.
Like a miniature Houdini, you wriggle free
of any burden on your shoulders –
unlike the nearly-man holding you afloat
in the shallow end.
Once you’re reared, these mollycoddled mornings,
soothed and swaddled in honesty,
will be forgotten, but there’s a double helix
that twists in both our blood;
standing up for bastards.
Midlands sinew will grip
the hands you shake, the thighs you clasp
in the bunker of adulthood.
Towelled together I feel
your delicate unfettered breath on my neck
like gale force wind through a keyhole,
an uncertain murmur, not quite a gurgle,
but the first mouthing fumble for father.