Photo by Garima Mahajan

Stumbling across a scene of creation by Adham Smart


Photo by Garima Mahajan
Photo by Garima Mahajan

A desert in which nothing ever grows.
A queue which sucks at the horizon;
unfinished animals, a horde of protofauna.

Rough casts all, coal-hot, still cooling,
their kiln-fresh bodies clinking.

A woman dozing under the shade of a tree
the breeze brushing her hair, teasing her skirt.

The fire still hissing from their bones,
the eyeless animals wait to be seen.
She will give them defining features:
hides and green scales, muzzles
paper wings, softly-lined ears.

Vague faces. Dull heads. Their clay is eager.
She will create them when it starts to rain.


About the Author

Adham Smart

“Until they were created, the animals existed without knowing what they looked like.”

Adham Smart is a writer and translator from London. He was three times a winner of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award and has been published in The Rialto, Blue of Noon, And Other Poems, The Missing Slate, The ISIS, and The Salt Book of Younger Poets.  He is currently studying an MPhil in linguistics and philology at Oxford, and also teaches acting at Blackheath Youth Theatre.

Follow him-
Social media: @AdhamSmart92
Website: adhamsmart.wordpress.com


About the Illustrator-

Garima Mahajan

Garima Mahajan is our proofreader who lives in a yellow spaceship that’s drifting in a wormhole. When she’s not reading, you can find her taking pictures of windows, or planning world domination.


Stumbling across a scene of creation is one of the many amazing submissions we have received so far for the third edition of The Machinery. To submit, you can read the submission guidelines here.

Feel free to share the poem on Social Media or let us know what you think about it in the comments below!

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