THE NEW BUILDING

 

The new building first made itself noticed that evening

as some of the others shuffled aside

like commuters, not quite making room for one more person.

 

I saw the new building from the top deck of my bus.

It stretched backwards into two points of perspective

as though it had risen from a pop-up book.

 

While the sun and the clouds conferred behind it,

the windows of the new building lit up, becoming pictures,

the likenesses of offices, classrooms or council chambers.

 

It wasn’t the tallest in town – not by some way –

and the new building at last managed to make itself at home,

easing its bottom in, between its neighbours.

 

Where it had come from, no-one seemed to know.

Perhaps we had all missed the small print tied to lamp-posts.

In fact, no-one was sure how new the new building was.

 

Two old ladies in front of me maintained

that the cranes had picked up their empty lunchboxes

some time ago, and swung off the new building site.

 

But by now, even the new building was yawning.

People were leaving, and five minutes after they disappeared

from the windows, they emerged onto the street.

 

Because the bright facades of the shops rose in front of it,

it was difficult to tell how you got to the new building.

There might even have been a car park underneath.

 

All I can say is, we carried on noticing,

me and the old ladies, trying to make sense of it.

That was, until we noticed the next new building.

 

– Matthew Griffiths

 

 

 

Matthew Griffiths spent his formative decades in Birmingham, then in his twenties embarked on an odyssey that took in St Andrews, Guildford and London, before he came to Durham to research a PhD on the poetics of climate change. Somehow, he’s also found the time to pen a novel, The Weather on Versimmon, that came out in 2012, and a debut poetry pamphlet, How to be Late, published in spring 2013.

 

Sarah Taylor Silverwood graduated from MA Fine Art at Birmingham School of Art in 2011, and opened her first solo show at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts in 2012.  Drawing, narrative and landscape are at the core of her practice. Work to date has explored a number of different drawing practices, including maps, architectural drawings and comic books. Find out more about her latest graphic novel The Mermaid and the Lion here.