Sunday Poem 8-Skeleton Man by Martin Kratz

Today’s Sunday poem is by Martin Kratz, who I met on the MA at Manchester Met.  He also came on a week’s retreat that I organised at Cove Park, and it was there that he introduced me to ‘Skeleton Man’ – a sequence of poems about a character of the same name.  I think they are brilliant, very witty, clever, poignant and reminiscent of Ted Hughe’s ‘Crow’ and Christopher Reid’s ‘Mr Mouth’.   The poem below is only one of a whole set of Skeleton Man poems – I can’t wait for these poems to be published, so I can read them in their entirety.

Martin will be finishing his MA at Manchester Metropolitan University this year.  He’s spent most of his time working in primary and special needs education.  His parents are German, but he grew up in London.  In 2011, he won the Rosamund Prize  – which is awarded for the best collaboration between a composition student from the Royal Northern College of Music and an MA student from MMU.  He then went on to write a libretto for an opera called The Mermaid of Zennor which was first performed at the RNCM last autumn.  It will be performed again next week in Manchester – see the link below for more information.

If you would like to find out more about Martin, he blogs at

Skeleton Man- Martin Kratz

My poor little skeleton boy, I can’t bear to think of it.
Driven to that strange house,
where that woman, Crooked-Bicycle-Spoke,
ushered you into the loft
and the door was closed.
At the point where the pitch of the roof was lowest,
the Boy-With-No-Bones chugged to safety like a squid.
The colour slid from him, when you entered.

 Skeleton Man,
this wasn’t a play-date. 
It was a could-be-worse, a
Take heart, Soft Touch, he never could have been your friend.
You had nothing in common.

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