A poem by Anthony Wilson

      for and after Lawrence Sail

      the sump-life of the place – Seamus Heaney

These are the flatlands
stitched between flood-plain and ditch,

everything provisional,
ooze and sluice.

The estuary looks walkable,
spines of red clay

rising from slate water
with flanks of weeping slip

which shimmer mother-of-pearl,
silver, molten.

A powerboat that was toy
bounces through its roar,

its wake slapping
the cledge, scattering wagtails.

The stranded barge
of The Turf breathes easy,

its spur both tongue
and poop-deck.

Beyond, a train
becomes its horn;

skeletal willows inch greener;
and an oarsman

pushes himself backwards
into the future.
(from Riddance)
Anthony Wilson is a poet, writing tutor and lecturer at the University of Exeter. Riddance, his fourth collection of poetry, has just been published by Worple Press. Love for Now, a prose memoir, is due from Impress Books in September 2012.

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