poems and stories
scroll down to read poems and stories on our Spring theme
growing weekly from March to June 2019
meet the poets and writers
our first poem, on the first day of Spring, is by Sarah Westcott
Filthy Little Stream
water~ ~~~~~~~~ needling
some reach towards majesty
frivolity of bubbles chemical sickness
long wet vocal cord opening —
smoother the lee; curling under tree roots, undermining,
something thrown down
to glint its way out
some formality in the stitch-work
turning itself over, like digestion,
inspecting its soft under-parts
a sputtering flow brick–jagged
unloved and unlocked this segment
rolls and pools where drains run in like sores
dark grey dark grey as tarmac or slate
a narrative of itself in the junking
some faith in the blackthorn
that strays so close,
the darkling thrush gunning for song –
Song of the Naiad
We sing our song of rise-rush-ring and spiral-sweep-spill
Of dip-down-ripple and fast flow-fill
Of wept water and whispering weed
Of sound-smooth rocks and silver speed
Of moss-fold and light-fold and shade-fold
Of tingling toes and cutting crisp call cold
Of bright bends and bubbles and broken-blue
Of sweet-sun-shafts that go tumbling through
Of stream-curve-carved seats
Of cold-quickened heartbeats
Of races where water is winning
Of sky-snatches spinning
Of on-rush, down-pull
Fast and full
Rise-rush-ring, spiral-sweep-spill, dip-down-ripple, fast flow-fill
Tingling toes, broken-blue, sweet-sun-shafts, spiral-sweep-spill
Weed, wept-water, crisp-call cold, silver speed, fast flow-fill
Fill, flow, fast flow-fill, ripple-down, sweep-spiral, dip – spill
We sing our song of all this, and more,
From the stream will this music pour
From the stream this music thrill
The music of water-spill and heart-fill
Lone Tree on Abandoned Pier
Edge of the city
lone tree on abandoned pier
layered in the dust
of rusted out nails
outlasting the sun
the splinters of crumbling wood
cast off a final message:
roots will find a way
What is the language of water
with no mouth, no larynx, no tongue?
Does water speak?
Does a stream sing?
Each note struck on rocks,
like a xylophone of stones.
Does a waterfall guffaw?
Transmitting the joke down,
fall about, laugh like a drain.
Does rain gossip?
Spread its tittle-tattle, spit spittle
at breeze’s rumour through corn.
Does the sea show anger?
Thumping waves, crashing breakers,
Does a lake convey stoicism?
Silent shifts of depth,
reply, ‘nothing’s wrong,’
when you know it is.
First published in Obsessed With Pipework #82
Long ago father led me, all train trestle legs and elbows,
through Pisgah Forest on a day hike.
Near the turkey brush and mountain laurel, a hook, a tiny crook
of Pisgah River had run dry.
Cracked and segmented from lack of God’s grace,Momma said.
We walked the parched branch past
Farlow Gap, beneath a parasol of Pignut Hickory
and Scarlet Oak trees.
I’m still all elbows, legs. My skin a segmented, dried out
creek bed. Age spots, like river rocks, lifting on the edges,
scatter about hook and crook, marking my time in the sun. The
drought of God’s grace.