Yesterday you were still here.
Today snow has laid itself down
in the lanes, thick as fur.
The flap in the door is locked,
as it would be. You hated snow.
I expect you in my office chair
quick as a ghost, a look to say,
“I’ve been here all along.”
In your final days, my job
was to make sure you kept warm,
stoking the coal fire, tucking
your favourite blanket under
for the payment of a blink.
Once I thought I saw you smile.
Then that last fatherly duty
reassuring you, “I am here”.
My body looks for you at night,
a space at the foot of the bed,
and opening the front door slowly
I still look down before up.
No thud as you jump from the sofa.
No late-night wailing for food.
The house-sounds are empty sounds,
the space filled up with snow.
Paul Stephenson just posted an in-depth interview with me on his website.
We talk about The Knowledge (including at least one secret about the book most people probably don’t know), the current political climate, the place I grew up, and the teachers, places, and poets that have made a great impression on me.
I also mention the new book, due out July 2018.
You can read the full interview on Paul’s website.
I received my contributor’s copy of The Interpreter’s House 66 just now.
I am looking forward to digging into it as part of my rest and recovery from a nasty autumn cold. There are many names I recognise here, and a few whose work I’d like to get to know better.
There are a lot of inventions nowadays — tangible, digital, informational. My poem touches on that topic. You can see a quick snap of it here.
To order Issue 66 or subscribe, check out The Interpreter’s House website.
I moved to the English countryside from London just over five years ago, and haven’t looked back.
As you can imagine, the quirks of suburban and pastoral England have inspired quite a few poems, including a long poem sequence in the style of the heroic crown of sonnets, reminiscent of Sir John Betjeman’s Metro-Land.
Because these poems feel like their own entity, I have decided to make them available as an e-book. They are available on my website to download for just £0.99 (about $1.31).
These poems whisk you along from raves to roundabouts, weirs to war memorials — a kind of poetic tour, if you like, of what I find most curious and endearing about the place I now call home.
Click here to order your copy or learn more.
When it rains it pours. Especially in an English autumn.
I just received my contributor’s copy of Acumen 89. The poem they took is a companion in some ways to the poem published yesterday at The Clearing.
Here’s a snap of the poem in situ.
You can order single copies and subscribe at the Acumen website.
I have a new poem up at The Clearing, Little Toller’s online journal of poetry and place.
It has come at an especially important moment, as I understand the current editors, having been flung far and wide by academic post and pursuits, will be handing over to a fresh new team. Here’s hoping they preserve the keen focus on quietly explosive nature poetry. It has been a pleasure to follow its progress so far.
Enjoy the poem.