‘A dowser is a poet’ you thought,
leaning on the farm gate to find the way.
But maps have never helped us much,
our best glimpses when we went astray,
left the paths the maps taught,
like starlings circling an unrisen sun.
‘We could try following the signs’ you say,
but I was watching the twilight come,
the pike trembling in the fast stream,
a fieldfare landing on the farm gate.
It has been a rambling kind of day,
but somewhere, we found water.
(published in The London Magazine, 2012)
WILLIAM BEDFORD is an award-winning novelist, children’s novelist, poet and short-story writer, his work appearing in Acumen, Agenda, Critical Quarterly, Encounter, London Magazine, London Review of Books, The Nation, Poetry Review, The Southerrn Review, The Tablet, The Warwick Review, The Washington Times and many others around the world. His novel Happiland was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize. His selected poems, Collecting Bottle Tops, and selected short stories and non-fiction, None of the Cadillacs Was Pink, were both published in 2009.