All 5 entries tagged Rural

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March 28, 2008


This is the first draft of my workshop poem from the other day. We looked at David Morley's poetry on birds and then went out onto campus to write from life. I couldn't actually see any birds so I wrote about the songs coming from the trees instead. 


Empty trees pierce netted.

Lancing, pipping squeaks between the bark,

Stark mouse-screams whetting peace in the shrill fall

between horizons, escalations.

Dew tremors

Creep tones,



lemon sugar speaking not shouting

sharpening talking

tossing marbles of sounds

of warbles and seeds,


wobbling light

between shiverings


slow over the tips of the wood.

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 22, 2007


I have painted this poem on a Bird Box provided by David Morley. I sanded the box and painted it on with part-oil part-Acrylic freehand. I also decorated the box (which I inteligently did not photograph) with some dubiously scaled native birds. The final coat of varnish was ill-advised as it smudged the oil remenants but it still looks ok. It will be up somewhere on campus at some point. 

Linnet, we

fall up onto the arms.

The sky feast


where our man makes seeds.

For our children the seeds,

and here in the vale

we spit into their mouths.

Quick the

drop eyed dew pecked


Trill into the arms,


eat us up

and exhale the songs.

Rustle flit woken

into the sharp day

and holds

the little branches.

The flights fall away

from the downed chests,

Dipped into air and rising,

elastic, a winged sea.

They go;

the singers of the light,

the singers of the dark.

The winged sea flooding,

drenching the gables

and bristling the fields:

the worm-lookers.

Man cuts and turns the clods

and the flock floods the rows

and unsown soil.

Flights fold and expanding

England dilates

under their wings.

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.

March 2023

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