Two poems — Martha Sprackland


Like trepanation, I assume, this light.
Transcendent hole. Small rock poked from drystone
with a fingertip, for looking through
to the wide field, the I restored its sight.

Last week enamelled passengers were ranged
dangerously along the platform edge
a terrible whining sound coming from them,
scraping at each other whitely with their heads –

a crowd like that, and one so closely stood,
will curdle in the mouth’s inadequate space,
drop bacterial signals through the blood
and send the hapless heart to rot and race

so I cut an Acme circle with a wide-toothed saw
and the wide-eyed sky fell in through the trapdoor.


Vitrine of Tektites and Fulgurites

Museo Geominero del Instituto Geológico y Minero de España

capital in a silver circlet sits
on the plateau of its throne

flashing handful of dropped cutlery
the cymbal shock

september lightning
arrows sparking flint

sanction the limits
bound the umber meseta

from the city whose plazas
bloom sudden as desert flowers

seen from the sun’s
high mourning window

vista of sloped sienna tile
azoteas orange as pine resin

in ranges all the way
to the circling sierra into which

womb burdened with a burning
stone I climbed

thirsting mountains hung
with verdigris & bellringing

and then later, fearstruck
& fevered

dreamt I found a fulgurite
hollow root of blackened glass

standing in the desert
sky’s raw data

riven with inclusions
a bloom in amber

or electrum, a prophecy coded
& catalogued in sand


Martha Sprackland is a writer and editor from Merseyside, now living between London and Madrid. She was co-founder and poetry editor of Cake magazine, and is one of the founding editors of multilingual arts magazine La Errante. She is the editor of independent press Offord Road Books.

“Vitrine of Tektites and Fulgurites” is from Citadel (Pavilion Poetry, 2020). Published with permission of author and publisher.