‘The smithereens’ – Nia Davies



the mustard seeds

and thinking, how would I organise Saturn & Jupiter?


Open up you can tell the jar.

But I might not want to.


If I could just give up ‘Middle Class’

what expression would that be and would it be useful?


Or if I could just wait here long enough maybe food will be served


my one job today was to water the plant

& pay the people I owe


I do not complete that sentence

because if I do that


I still owe the old man £700


The story of nail clippers, where are they? He is always asking and

I owe it to him to find them.


I owe the world no confession, I tell myself


The world does not owe it to you to listen to your confession or anything else, I tell myself.


I owe The Minister for Work and Pensions no information or currency, I tell myself.


Smithereens, from the Irish Smidirín

expresses what exactly


Is to confess a commodity fetish?

Is to express a commodity fetish?


I express my smithereens


‘Everyone wants to express themselves’ said the man in the tatty church hall when I was trying to be useful.


The plundered do not owe us anything.


I do not owe the bureaucracy my information, I tell myself


I do know how to make the mustard seeds useful and that I am a citizen by accident.


I paid £80 for this passport.


I paid the bureaucracy for proof I am a citizen of a country I was accidently born in


So how would you put Saturn & Jupiter into their proper bureaucratic profit margin?


They do not owe you any gas


My one job today was to water the plant


Nia Davies is a poet, editor and literary curator based in Wales. Her publications are: Then spree (Salt 2012), Çekoslovakyalılaştıramadıklarımızdanmısınız or Long Words (Hafan/Boiled String, 2016) and All fours will appear from Bloodaxe in 2017. She is also editor of Poetry Wales and has worked on several transcultural literary projects. Her poems have been translated into Arabic, Kurdish, Bangladeshi, Czech, Mandarin, Slovak, Spanish and Turkish. 

‘The smithereens’ is published in Issue Six of The Lonely Crowd, alongside two more new poems by Nia Davies.

Copyright © Nia Davies, 2017. Image © Jo Mazelis, 2017.