Christmas Poetry… A Merry Christmas from ShopCurious!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas from wet and windy London!

ShopCurious poet in residence, Matt Bryden, recently gave a poetry reading at Keats House in Hampstead. He read poems from his new collection, Boxing the Compass, one of which he has kindly allowed us to reproduce here.

Matt Bryden poetry reading

Boxing Day Shoot



The hunter’s boy is brown from top to toe.

He tramps behind Gonçalo and Zoë.

He claims two kills as his alone

and never walks before the barrel.

When the mud swipes his boot, and the pointers squabble,

the boy is holding a woodcock.


The hunter’s boy is Portuguese.

His sister and he share an ease

as temperate as wind through trees.

Hands sticky with blood and feather,

when he rinses his muddy boots in the river,

the boy is holding a woodcock.


The hunter’s boy is solitary-minded.

The switch he carries props a skyward

glance across the darkling wood.

His manners are seeing and doing.

When he returns, hands warm from wringing,

the boy is holding a woodcock. 

Matt has also written some Christmas poetry especially for ShopCuriousMag, which you can read below.

Matt Bryden Reading Poet



Instead of a key to the city,

coffee in every café –

pastel de nata, escalope with chips,

never to collect a bill which includes

service. Go with me,


a bedroom, suitcase set against mattress,

folded sheets and towels, the walls

stripped of frame or poster, a sheet of paper

propped on its edges, black ink

visible through the grain.


A door stepped outside to smoke

in December. Car lights

blinking through fog. The tread

of glass, a windscreen wiper’s snapped

divining rod


lifted by the tarmac back

like a ball on the ice;

a nest beneath the bridge,

the stone tower used as a gaol overnight.

We will survive this winter.

To find out about future poetry events and read more of Matt’s poems, please visit his website.


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