Summer Selections: Forever Looking Both Forward & Back

by Jonathan Parsonage



I. Genesis

וְהָאָרֶץ, הָיְתָה תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ, וְחֹשֶׁךְ, עַל-פְּנֵי תְהוֹם; וְרוּחַ אֱלֹהִים, מְרַחֶפֶת עַל-פְּנֵי הַמָּיִם.




A face in Red water.



Thump!            Breath!



Dangling meat,

A slither of sheet,

and harmony

as he meets her.


A Mum-clutch-hum

            here it comes:

                        the first smile.



I.i. Xenolalia

כִּי, יֹדֵעַ אֱלֹהִים, כִּי בְּיוֹם אֲכָלְכֶם מִמֶּנּוּ, וְנִפְקְחוּ עֵינֵיכֶם; 

                                                             וִהְיִיתֶם, כֵּאלֹהִים, יֹדְעֵי, טוֹב וָרָע.

Genesis 3:5

First Word


Crops spring up,

Tiny lines creeping towards the sky

slicing through the vista.


Up they go,

ridiculous spines, tingling

with each breath blown.


Up, yes, up

and up, and up

coiling together; meshing, melding.


So maniacally high

As though the sky were being

Beaten against, ba-bum, ba-bum.


Against the timpanic heartbeat

The panic sets in

And the crops give air:


Air, air to breathe,

Air that fills us and lets us speak,

You groan the sound but mime the word;


Mama –


III. Indigatio Beautitudinem

A Sonnet for Failure


Almost perfect in execution,

But lacking age, so lacking the words.

Her mouth opened and swallowed me up.

Yet, in the bubbling belly of the beast,

The first angel of Love, full-bodied,

Came to meet me. Leaving cigarette burns

Like stigmata on my hands and my feet.

With Rimbaud looking down on Lover’s Walk,

With its benches, ever-wet, ever warm

As her kiss. We met there to drink cheap wine

As my parents slept in their single beds.

Almost perfect in execution,

But lacking in age so resorting to rhyme

For an embodied muse. Out of Form, out of Time.

Summer Selections is a FalWriting series bringing you a variety of writing produced this academic year by Falmouth students. It's a vibrant and diverse selection of work covering text forms from experimental poetry to forensic literary analysis, from gothic short stories to critical dissertations. This year the selection is guest edited by third year student Jess Hawes.