Magdalena Ball – Chronotope

Ball LE P&W 1 Nov-Dec 2023

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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume One Nov-Dec 2023

Chronotope, poems by Magdalena Ball.


The body is always in motion
even prone, at constant speed
the trajectory of all positions, fluid

like water, the body is water.

At a particular point
hooked by date and time, your watch
ticking inaudibly, that is to say

now, or now, or maybe now

you might feel you are in a place,
let’s call it home,
the co-ordinates of time and space

invoked by narrative.

The motivation for leaving
where you think you are safe
is fear. Pay up and go

is what they tell you, don’t mention fear.

It’s profitable for someone, not you,
but if you pay now you won’t have to
pay more later.

That’s the whole story

so you hand back your identity card.
That fear was always an illusion,
the only reality, motion.

The only home is here.

Radiation dead forest

Like a radio station broadcasting the future
red, ginger brown, death forest
in the alienation zone alone.
All those counters, dosimeters, clicking.

Blurry vision, dry eye, memory of human
life beneath moss steps, dust motes, debris,
haunting the city, an albino barn owl,
swoops low.

Wildlife is returning. What do brown bears
and boar know of evacuations,
safe distances, grazing beneath twisted
branches, ghost pine, tubers and roots.

The past is disappearing into a different
kind of forest, Strontium-90 scarred
empty buildings, jagged towers
returning to origins: rock, sand, gravel.

© Magdalena Ball

Magdalena Ball is a novelist, poet, reviewer, interviewer, vice president of Flying Island Books, and managing editor of Compulsive Reader. Her stories, editorials, poetry, reviews and interviews have appeared in a wide number of journals and anthologies, and have won local and international awards. She is the author of several novels and poetry books, most recently, Bobish, a verse-memoir published by Puncher & Wattmann in 2023. Find out more at her website:

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