Trafika Europe Corner by Andrew Singer featuring Natalie Crick



Natalie Crick
Natalie Crick

Continuing our theme of the UK in Europe – accompanying our latest issue Trafika Europe 9/10 – UK in Europe – here are three pieces from UK poet Natalie Crick.

Her poetry has been strongly inspired by German language, philosophy and music, and melancholic confessional poetry. Her poems have been published widely, including in The Cannon’s Mouth, Cyphers, Ariadne’s Thread, Carillon and National Poetry Anthology 2013.  She lives in Newcastle.

Leben, Es Ist Schwer
And there are angels singing in heaven when
He kissed her on the mouth,
Bowing their heads now.
Look again, but they are all leaving.
Madeline, she is numb.
Yes, my Lord.
Last night he found out that
He was made for better things.
This morning
The day is just passing him by.
Rain falls like ink down his face.
He is running wild in the same old hurricane.
There are punnets of plums on the table.
She lifts one to her mouth,
It is already in her hand.
Mother is alive as a Christmas tree walks and talks.
Sponges slapping,
Orange juice slamming. O God
She can hear
Hands clapping.
There are flowers everywhere,
Running away from her all over the floor.
They are laughing at her Mother.
There are flowers growing around her wrists,
Pulling her to the door.
Follow the leader.
It is like an escape.
How can you get back what you have lost?


The Red Lake
She saw that the lake was turning red
And turned to him and said:
“I thought you had abandoned me.
I shall lose myself again
Under another sky.”
The lake was turning red;
A desolate landscape for a killer.
He could see her footsteps.
“When you are walking at night,
Do you dream?”
She was everywhere.
Children were missing at the fair.
They knew that someone wanted to die.
“I am looking for the bright, white stars”,
He said.
Lights glittered on the lake.
A girl, the ghost of his Mother,
Was running in the forest.
He was coming after her.
The end of the world will happen soon.


We Have Come So Far, It Is Over
I am a visitor, if I was ever here at all.
The people who live here are special to me, though we know neither names nor faces.
I have only precious memories, so precious that I wish I had never visited.
Every space is a photograph; I feel I treat this as a public gallery rather than a community.
There are skulls and pumpkins behind every windowpane. Summer and Halloween pass.
The pub landlord has a special walk, where he does not know where to go or if he will ever come back.
“This is the best view”, he had said.
We ask for directions and nearly always have to find the way ourselves. But it is more fun this way.
We walked to the grave at night because she is there and it felt exciting. I gave her my stained glass star.
The steeple of the old Church was damaged in an electric storm.
My Mum looked in the Memory Book inside the New Church for memories.
We walked past some builders and I told my Mum that one of them was a transsexual.
The Canal Lady sits in her boat, looking at her baby.
We saw her walking at night and I felt she was a Schizophrenic.
It always rains when we come here. When it is sunny I get a headache.
The grey skies are sad and sentimental.
There were children playing in the field. I imagined that they were screaming.
I stood staring at the house with the burnt-out conservatory and started to think that everything was beautiful.
When we walk here I feel I have to say nothing at all.
We are here as outsiders. Life is an investigation.


Trafika Europe showcases new fiction and poetry in English translation from across the 47 countries of Council of Europe.
Our latest issue Trafika Europe 9/10 – UK in Europe is free online.
And announcing our European literary bookshop! Please check out this brief welcome video with some great highlights on offer there.

Trafika Europe
: Some of the best new literature from Europe