Poem of the North

Fifty years of the Northern Poetry Library

From Canto 1

Notes made on Hadrian’s Wall

Sly light and silence. The sky unfolds.
When the lark spools, an old yearning is washed clean.
I stand on the wall to squint its distant line. Wall as dormant god,
wall as watcher, wall as shadow spine, wall as lost ribbon in the wind.
I mean nothing, almost sucked towards the sycamore’s crown.
The fort is drowned and the women further under.
At Harrow’s Scar, spleenwort crawls
through mottled stone.

Does the hairpin hold a seed or a star?
Both are trinkets pressed into a palm.

At dusk        swallows twitch        through empty rooms.

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