All 3 entries tagged Dartmoor

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November 26, 2007



 I wrote this for my first year mini poetry portfolio for Michael Hulse (back in the day) and found it today. I reworked it a heap as it was shockingly incoherent etc.


The Heath


Aisle Graffiti.

Biro lines, whose brains have had the

memory of who left them,

washed out

by lecturing voices.

A gooey diatribe dragging

its permanent noise

over grey coughing tiers.

Bars. Squares. Insipid light.

White pages.

Bad thespians in the art of the leaves.

Autumn leaves that

You and I

smuggled into folders

full of notes -amputated- and various poems.

They are underneath our rested heads.

Tangible colour and reality


our elbows.

Our arms have been


by synthesis, by torpor, and we stare

and we long

for the crisp damp death of the leaf.

They shall probably dissolve, fantastical,


on contact with your amorous cheek.

Have our faces become plastic

moulded into blankness?

Is there a biro that could sketch them?

They are speaking to us

about words

about autumn

in this cocoon of phlegm, and brains.

The trees are shielded by electric hum.

The trees are curling and gone.

The journey here and skirts

Dance, eclectic, in the licking hackles

of the gorgeous air.

The wind wants its browning


It wants our books.

It asks them back to its bosom,

to blaze and to die.

Thesis. Antithesis. Synthesis:

Season of mists, they say, and today,

out on a yet inviolate heath

a man and his girl stuff soil

into each others throats and clothes.

Their hands are digested by the villi of wild thorns.


Thrusting and breaking and renegotiating

into skins and the graffiti of skins.

Briefcases abandoned on the grass.

Another Poem


We canter up their scree slopes

with our backs to the wind.

Here is fierce, bold, a

woken snake sliding out over a man’s bare thigh.

Cold air ready to bite us off of the stoneway.

To strike.

And the gorse breathes,

rising out over and under the hands.

The day printing us into the underbelly.

Crisping, here comes the night.

To the west it can be seen, slow,

closing the heads of the valleys

and the faces of the flowers.

Burn-cloud tatters of the awe setting, the orb death:

The sun sets

and over the moor we

are not watching

for a pebble that clicks.

Beast shift.

Squeezed out

from spoor treads

into the sharp stream

from air.

November 19, 2007

Home–grown poetry


Late summer,

though the summer was not much.

There is a squirrel in the shaded garden.

At the top edge of the land

neighbouring horses

crunch in the copse arms.

The white tan dog bounds

over the disordered grass

that is swallowing up the rabbits

and the gates.

Here she stamps,

following behind with a novel in her hand

and the slow steps of a town bred farmer

with stock to check.

Clobby droppings of the brock,

those illadvised blackberries

seeding his latrines.

The smell of bog and bracken,

foxes and ferns.

In the scrub quiet it beats fast

of a low hart

and her terrified blood.

Pigeons shiver into a warm sky.

Streamflies fat in the estate pats.

Grass like rivers,

too thick to solve,

pours over everything.

I am but what I am none cares nor knows

the trees sigh and repeat those woes

all those rows of roots

and disintegrating leaves.

The terrier finds out the


in their shaded bunker of dust.

In the skinny bushes

they blink at insects:

boulders of folded knees and

chewing cheeks.

She picks the thorns out of her legs

while she is stooped

to look in every sleepy brown eye

for the white harbingers of blindness.

The novel swells through touch;

The brambles surge.

October 2022

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