Notes on estuary swimming

All afternoon the sea pushes into the land, plating the estuary to cloud swelling the river high enough to salt the skirts of the valley trees. Deeper inland creeps the sea’s fingers, gloving the mud creeks, blunting their sharpness with brimmed water. Crabs scuttle uphill, rafts of sea-weed eddy, a hovering merlin whistles high tide. […]

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The guerilla planter

He is paused, boiler-suited against the work to follow, observing the day fail around him. A light strip in the west lends him eyes and when the town’s dark circumference reaches his boots he gathers up his tools – a sack of tree whips, one old spade, and goes roaming. Roaming in the gloaming. He […]

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The Mirror Pool, Centenary Sq., Bradford

Broad ford Bradford A water start, Beck-crossing to a city. And go now to the mirror pool, its north sky silver shining pandemonium, sulphur-smelling and skinned with soot and wool thread. The pool reflecting folk laughing, the faces of folk fretting, fighting, folk unheard – folk just turning up. Folk out of danger, Folk looking […]

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This track

Out the front door, turn right pass through the ruined gate between the blooming hawthorns and thistle banks, and the curling track transports you across a meadow. This track, a metal detector once told me while patrolling the meadow, one eye on me the other on history, this track is ancient. They likely pushed the […]

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Poppy

When her brothers come home from school, all afternoon brag and shoving, she smiles and climbs the narrow stairs to her room to put on her dancing shoes. They are silver with heels too far for her father, she is four, but someone kind gave them to her, and I see they help her win […]

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Lake Malawi

In Dar es Salaam we boarded the bus and then just sat there, waiting to go, the engine idling while through the open windows passed a fine dust and raised by unseen hands, aluminum trays of over-ripe bananas and bags of cashews, the banana smell and the hawkers crying for their money, the hawkers’ smell […]

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Mediterranean ii

Do you remember a glorious morning before the war when I swam you out to sea against your mother’s warning of urchins? You holding too tight around my neck, laughing and urging me on across the vast blue space. You were not punctured by urchins that day. Or remember when paddling on that steep beach […]

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