John McCullough




Some months all my thoughts are one colour.
I hit a yellow mood and the world pours out its yolks:
tall stacks of National Geographics in Oxfam,
cranes that point uncertain fingers at the sky

and maple leaves that swoop into me and cling, their veins
like roads heading everywhere in fallen, saffron cities.
Then, the teapot you saw on eBay, had to have.
It was like unpacking October and standing it on our table,

its yellow logic strict yet plump, offering an outsize handle,
a colour that might foster never-ending cups. We filled it
with boiling water, our new sun, and that first time
the copper rings around its centre made it tick-tick-tick

as if letting us know it could wipe us out if it wanted to
but we’d been spared, that we could live beside it
though should be grateful for everything of its kind
that travelled toward us, for all the yellow days.


JOHN McCULLOUGH‘s first collection of poems The Frost Fairs (Salt, 2011) won the Polari First Book Prize and was a Book of the Year for The Independent and a summer read in The Observer. His most recent collection Spacecraft (Penned in the Margins, 2016) was named one of The Guardian‘s Best Books for Summer and was shortlisted for the Ledbury-Forte prize. He teaches creative writing at the University of Brighton and the Open University, and lives in Hove.


Read more by John McCullough:

Author’s Website
Poem in the September 2015 issue of B O D Y