The Tall Lighthouse
Emma McGordon

Emma’s poetry ranges from the playful to the political

and is shot through with prickly language and an

uncompromising aesthetic. She was born and raised

in West Cumbria, and was influenced by the late, great

Barry Mc Sweeney. In 2007 she featured

in the Generation Txt tour.


with nothing to rush to


The scary thing about those who jump

from with nothing to rush to     


The scary thing about somebody

jumping from the top of a tall building

is not the fall or the jump itself

or the rush of air that chokes

into being that person’s last breath.

It is not even the man, on his way to work,

who finds the seven body parts

spread across six paving stones.


It is not the sirens that are blue

with nothing to rush to,

nor the cold of the zipper on a black

and silver body bag

or the sound of the bristles

pushed forth and back, forth and back,

until nobody would know of the life

that once saw its last there.


The scary thing about somebody

jumping from the top of a tall building

is the dark they saw

when they stood on the ledge

and looked for the stars,

that maybe they took the stairs

two at a time, or the pile of rubbish

they saw swirling in circles too small

to catch the headlines of that days news.


It is the town that was deserted,

that nobody saw them walk         

through the streets or stand at the foot

of the building and look up,

it is the look on their face as they chose

which coat to wear and the way 

they closed their blue front door

knowing they had no need to take a key.






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