Poetry submission


Phew. I’ve actually managed to submit some poems for the Faber New Poets competition. Feeling weirdly bereft now. My brain wants to analyse my choice of words, poems, now it’s too late to change them. Sometimes the mind is a bit twisted like that.

Part of the submission is on What the River Stole, with a sequence of poems on rivers we’ve paddled on. Here’s a little taster. It’s linked to the local floods in late 2013 / early 2014. It was a surreal time, watching the river rising on Christmas Eve, the supermarket car park flooded by several feet of water, unmoored rowboats jammed under the bridge.


Anyway, here it is:

What the River Stole – Medway

Today a door –

Latched to nothing but the weir

It dives and surfaces

Caught in the swirling waters

The slosh and gurgle of Flood.

A ball, a branch or ten,

Sometimes a whole tree

A field of turnips, judging by the quantity bobbing along

Gathering in the eddies, by drains

A Christmas dinner

A trip

A barge

a life? A Breath snared

and overwhelmed, a grasping

but finding only muddy banks

Cat-like the water torments it’s prey

Turning it over and over

Releasing it, only to pull it down again

Keeping the body

Keeping the stolen things

Until bored at last

The wrecks discharged to the edges

Recovery seems futile now

Soaked as they are with too much rain

Too much heartbreak.

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