Leaving (Nathan Curnow)

The Leaving Poem

pack it all up, my love
we’ll go to that place beyond them
let them sleep and forget about us
leave the key in the spot, they’ll find it

my love, can you feel it on this clear night
the gate is open to the meadow
they dream and we have dreamt enough
it’s time to close the doll’s house

don’t linger, my love, come with me
to that place beyond a cause
the washing is out, there is fruit in the bowl
there is and always was

my love, I promise, we’ll be there soon
they grew into their names long ago 
the failing is done and the stars are out 
our last gift is the gift of going

we knew them, my love
now to the place none of them will be  
we gave so much to be this close
pushing goodbyes away

Nothing in Disguise

When the Devil takes our names
we will shed our clothes and wander
in his estate, rejoicing in our deliverance,
knowing death is no more than a line break.
The weather we knew will not come again.
There will be fine fruit from the singing.
Nothing in disguise, just joy, such fruit,
and no shadow will scare our children.
Knowledge will descend from the canopy,
the knowledge that only brings comfort,
and from the canopy love, the kindest light—
we will bathe in those patches for hours.
The soil will be rich and warm under foot,
no need to build a camp. We will sleep
wherever we lie down, never interrupted.
No fresher pools than the ones we find.
No branch will remain out of reach.
Every bite we take will permit another.
Every want will be granted as a need.
The animals too will be nameless,
every pair will bow down as we pass
as the farming tide and triple moon
yield all the weight of our happiness.
The sunset horizons siphoned to stars,
oh what we will give the Devil for those.
When he comes with the offer we say: yes!
Take our names we are ready to go.


Nathan Curnow is a lifeguard, poet and performer. His previous books include The Ghost Poetry ProjectRADARThe Right Wrong Notes and The Apocalypse Awards. In 2018 he toured Europe with singer / songwriter, Geoffrey Williams, performing at festivals in Poland and Germany.