Archive for the ‘Fault Line’ Category

A Flood of Years

Posted: November 20, 2016 in Fault Line, urban poems

This morning I woke up to the sound of our river steam-training through the town. It was the first winter storm and overnight Devon bore the brunt. Here’s a poem from my collection Fault Line I wrote about an earlier flood.


Flood river is wide as a motorway.
Lying in bed I hear it roar through town.
And later from a top floor window I see how serious
Exmoor has been in ridding itself of a thousand
rivulets and streams decanting themselves off hills.

A sheet of mud-brown satin rolls over the weir.
Was it only last week that kids played here
on this moss-covered dam?
Ankle-deep, screaming, shouting.
Now it is a different creature, a snarling beast.

Nothing gets in its way.

Riverbanks are scourged, broken bones
of trees tossed and hurried downstream.
This power draws us to its side,
gaping at the volume and speed
of this highway to the sea.

We are transfixed.
Reading into it
the chaos of our own lives,
watching years stream by.


Posted: December 4, 2015 in Fault Line

This is from my recently released debut collection, Fault Line published by Lapwing (you can click on the link to the left to order a copy) and was inspired when found my copy of Ring of Bright Water that I bought in 1963.

Still legible on the first foxed page
of a Ring of Bright Water.
Red ink.
Sloping backwards.
The mark of a boy
50 years ago, stepping
gingerly into an adult’s world
of inky flourishes.

Now it’s bold, self-assured
A set style for so long,
illegible after
the first two letters.
A dance in black ink, leaning
into a headwind of years.
Rushing towards
the page’s right edge.