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Desire Lines

Desire Lines

"... poems that are tender and evocative, passionate and wide-ranging. Highly visual, carefully detailed, and, like the 'desire lines' of the book's title, these poems map and meander, always with a feel for the music of nature and a sense of the urgency of time's passing."

Katherine Gallagher

"... starts with a wonderfully atmospheric poem and never lets one down thereafter; it's marvellously sustained."

John Godfrey

"I like it that you describe a world I recognise in language I understand, yet still surprise and intrigue me, make me look again, be wiser for it."

David King


Published: 21April 2010 by Arrowhead Press 

ISBN: 978 1 904852 27 8 
Pages: 75 Hardback 

Price: £10.00 +p&p

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Photographing Marjorie


He has contrived it so that everything 

is at a jaunty angle; the brim 

of your summer hat, your smile, the ship’s slim

rail which you are leaning back on

in your white raincoat – collar halfway

up – the matching clutch bag, even the spray 

from the tipsy waves. He is pleased with the line 

of your gaze – past his shoulder, towards Dieppe

perhaps – so that I can almost see him step

back, the silver Voigtlander pressed to his cheek, 

adjusting the focus ring as he squints

through the viewfinder. The light glints

on the sea. He holds you both in this moment 

for ever, one seen, the other not, like the weave 

of sun and shadow in the folds of your sleeve.

I brought home wild marjoram, 
scabious and a pink parsley
to catch your eye in the little kitchen,
leaving my hurt pride by the roadside.
After all our talk I’d wanted to bring
butterflies to stir the air in the bedroom:
flitting blues, graylings, gatekeepers 
with watchful eyes, and a jersey tiger
moth, its scarlet flash so startling.
But my hands were too slow in the heat
of the afternoon and, besides, in time 
one of us would break the silence,
though the butterflies – soundless 
and unexpected – go on 
slipping through our fingers forever.

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