Robbie Gamble


Remain in the light, though it may waver.

Remain in the gentle grasp of hands you trust.

Remain open-mouthed, wide-eyed, arms spread to possibility.

Though dark oceans are rising, remain afloat.

Remain at your post: at the blackboard, on the shop floor, hand on the plough.

Remain upright, remain in motion, remain ever on course.

Remain gorgeous, remain lyrical, remain for the last encore.

Remain outraged at cruelties that gouge through our humanity.

Remain for the casualties, chant their names in the streets.

For all the barbed words that would hook you, remain thick-skinned.

Shoulder your remaining hurt and empty, bring it with you.

Foothold, slip, foothold: remain focused on ascending.

Remain calm in the belly.

Remain eye-to-eye.

Remain sane.



Key Change by Robbie Gamble

There is a moment,
just the first beat, actually,
of Mozart’s 40th Symphony,
where the first violins appear
to start off earnestly
in B-flat Major, and then
the orchestra swells in
to stifle them in G minor
with a sad, well-known theme,
and the first time I heard it
if I’d really been listening
it would have been
an astonishing shift
but now it feels like
when we open our mouths
and I know, after a moment,
where this fight is going to go.

Robbie Gamble recently completed an MFA in Poetry at Lesley University. When he is not fixated on image and line breaks, he works as a nurse practitioner caring for homeless people in Boston, Massachusetts.

“In these turbulent times, I realize more and more that poetry is both the candle and the canary in our collective coal mine.”