Highly Commended: Charles Lang, 'The Chase'

Highly Commended: Charles Lang,

‘The Chase’

Charles Lang’s poem ‘The Chase’ has been Highly Commended in the 2020 Newcastle Poetry Competition.


The Chase

for Ciaran Carson


Aw it takes is a wee fuck the polis n a night ae excitement is on:

the chase, navigatin the side-streets n gable-ends, hidin in bushes,


under motors, behind wheelie bins. We get up close so they cin see us

then we’re away again wae another fuck the polis between pantin breaths.


They’ve sent fur back-up, a second van tae negotiate as its gettin dark,

but we know the scheme better than they dae, or ever will,


n we map it wae ease – the school, the wee shop, the tree swing,

the bought hooses, ma granny’s hoose, ma pal’s aunty’s hoose, the lane.


We’ve took a break in a close. They approach it n we’re oot

the back door n er the fences like hurdles, athletes fur the buzz.


Before ye know it the chopper’s oot (coppers in a helicopter) n the searchlight

shines like a Hollywood premiere – we’re the stars ae Catch Me If You Can


but they canny, n we’ve just slipped intae ma pal’s hoose fur a drink,

changed oor tracky taps n skip hats cover oor heids. Incognito.


Watch this. We’re walkin right doon the street right past the polis

casual as, no givin a fuck, n ma pal turns roon n says awright officers


wit yees been up tae the night?


Charles Lang is from Castlemilk in Glasgow. He lives in Belfast, where he is currently studying at the Seamus Heaney Centre. Poems have appeared in Fly on the Wall MagazineFrom Arthur’s SeatGutterThe Honest UlstermanLuminous, Defiant (Listen Softly Press), The Open Ear and The Speculative Book 2019.