The Names of Trees
I should know the names of trees
and birds, and where to find them.
I should have this, poised to give,
to any who might need it.
Dirt should sit, be lodged, tattooed,
beneath my fingernails.
And I should know its feel, and
warmth, and temperament and taste.
But my nails stay clean.
Scrubbing is encouraged.
Unsightly is this earth to
Unbecoming in an adult
is a child-like wondrous gaze
refusing age’s death for it.
Offices, instead, contain
our suitable contentment
to know not trees, or birds, or dirt.
Or earth. And instead, pacify
the grit of primal urge
with a deflating relegation
to loincloths, sticks, and caves,
and forget, in them, the painting.
Killian Faith-Kelly was born in Belfast in 1997 and grew up in rural County Derry, Northern Ireland, before going on to study International Relations at the University of St Andrews. Since graduating in 2019 he has worked in the non-profit sector while writing poetry and fiction in his spare time.