Bringing in the Shrimps by Kerry Darbishire


Kerry Darbishire, songwriter and poet, grew up in the Lake District where she continues to live, find inspiration and write in a wild area of Cumbria. Her poems have appeared widely in anthologies and magazines and have won or been listed in several competitions, including the Bridport shortlist 2017, and the 2018 PBS Mslexia Poetry Competition. Her first poetry collection, A Lift of Wings, was published in 2014 by Indigo Dreams. A biography, Kay’s Ark, the story of her mother, was published in 2016 by Handstand Press.

Her second poetry collection, Sweet on my Tongue, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2018 and is a finalist in the Cumbria Culture Awards 2019. She co-edited the new Handstand Press Cumbrian Poetry Anthology, This Place I know. Kerry is currently working on a pamphlet and a new full collection.




















When the ground crunched like shells

and breath hung still as a frozen cloth  

Les knew it was time.  A man of land and sea

     – ate only what he could carry.


      Come on lad, he’d call


pulling my man from warmth into the November night

to drive along the bare coast road where people had done

with walking for the day, where trees curved

     like net-mender’s hands.


Into the sift of salt-white pebbles they marched

abreast of the tide pressed dark far beyond shifting sands

and where the sea held its breath

     set their nets on the bar.


With half an hour to scrape shoaled gullies – timing the turn

just right then back with a catch of phosphorescence

– a mass of heaven

     steering into the bite.


We laid white sheets in the moon-shine yard, set wide pans

of water on the stove.  My children woke soft-eyed and

wrapped in blankets to watch the sacks of grey turn pink-gold

     in the boil – a spread of ancient tender swilled onto linen.



Kerry Darbishire


Cloudburst by Kerry Darbishire

In Praise of Hedges by Kerry Darbishire