The Aitken Alexander Isolation Series: a new poem by Francis Spufford

 

A Poem by Francis Spufford

 

From ooze to Ouse I slip; now eel,

once elver, I dart an S of silver

down dart-straight streams, on lines

of wet that meet in skies that drown

the fens’ eight-pointed wooden crown.

 

In air, on air, I coast and turn

across the sinewed levels of the wind.

Now goose, once gosling, as a creaking V’s

feathered tip cross patchwork fields around

the fens’ eight-pointed wooden crown.

 

Earth’s child, earth-bound, I’m fixed in place

here on the little hill of silt this town

mounds up upon, where wet earth, sky and river

– where eel, bird, man – salute in O’s of praise

the fens’ eight-pointed wooden crown.

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