Three poems by Gillian Prew


a thousand gusts unpick the leaves.

Bird/and bird
moored to the black-knot trees
tails like rudders in harsh water/
wings wrapped featherweight sails.

they wait the length of their bond/they wait
for a shift in the cold as day darkens barely into evening.

The edge of rain is ahead
it appears/it sounds
and the world weeps/
it bursts.
A Wound’s Sound

Sea-sound/a wound’s sound/
the white lifting edge of the tide

with its hurl of blinking gulls,
wings risen like silver parachutes.

Stood, in the wind-sound
my ears full/my eyes as the water/
my wrapped-round arms
slipped between two hoarse gusts.

the sun comes
a fetch of light.

A space/

an ambient howl-sound


the gutted beasts.
“restlessly, driven by leaves.”

after a line by Rilke

shoved places of air –
pockets of autumn/natural languages.

The scuffed water/the swinging fruits/the ruffled gulls

– wind with its throat open.


The soaring cold barks at windows like a kept-out dog
whines through the small spaces/slows the old.

And in cold’s quiet undertow blood is not quite wide enough/blood
clotted on pavements rowanberry red.

My ear to the stone hard/hard
a murmur is coming/
a tremble of locked-up hooves.

Jackdaws and magpies land on the treetops.
The branches flap/they wave.
An old man looks up in his flat cap/
his mouth a shut wound.

Kolya, ghost-white
traipsing the ochre-cluttered gardens
and Milo, a shadow/
his guts thrust up to his chest.

the days loop-gusts tight to the bone
loose to the sky/the lifted holes.
Born Stirling, Scotland in 1966, Gillian Prew studied Philosophy at The University of Glasgow from 1984-1988. She is the author of two chapbooks, DISCONNECTIONS (erbacce-press, 2011) and IN THE BROKEN THINGS (Virgogray Press, 2011). A further collection, THROATS FULL OF GRAVES, is newly released from Lapwing Publications in 2013 . Her poems have been published widely online and in print, including Vayavya, The Poetry Shed, A New Ulster, The Open Mouse, Ink, Sweat & Tears, ‘ditch’, and From Glasgow to Saturn. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and has twice been short-listed for the erbacce-prize. You can find her online at