Poetry: Semerwater

I’m in the process of editing a third booklet of poems. It takes me something like 2-4 years to get one finished because things need to be left to cool and develop, you need time away from it. I have a ghost document of poems that don’t quite fit in.

This is one of those poems. It’s about Semerwater, a lake in the Yorkshire Dales in north-east England that I visited in May 2018.

If you want to see more of my poems or buy yourself a booklet please head over here.

 Semerwater 
  
 She sleeps on the shoreline
 ashes pulsing
 to life in the hills
 for the last time
  
 ruined barns
 bake again
 in the afternoon sun
  
 flies land
 on my thumbs
  
 all by the lake
 built by mistake
 the dumping of
 rocks and silt
  
 by forces without name
  
 forces without a prior reputation
 for landscape-scale devastation
  
 a time before
 we were there
 to croon and
 ascribe blame
 at the sidelines
  
 or did we
  
 Semerwater
  
 at its edges 
 a hare 
 striding see-saw 
 of a thing.

© Daniel James Greenwood 2020

   

Poetry: Heavy metal orchids

I’m in the process of editing a third booklet of poems. It takes me something like 2-4 years to get one finished because things need to be left to cool and develop, you need time away from it. I have a ghost document of poems that don’t quite fit in. This is one about a walk on the South Downs between Firle and Itford in June 2019.

I really thought this one would work with the collection, but something changed and it’s going free.

As I progress towards finishing the third booklet, I’ll post some more of those which won’t be in it. Definitely interested in your views on them.

Mount Caburn is an Iron Age hillfort (which is no longer there).

If you want to see more of my poems or buy yourself a booklet please head over here.

Heavy metal orchids

 Barren Downs
 broken by sea
 tropical blue
 and the sinking hint
 of chalk reef
  
 Newhaven onion dome 
 and brown lagoon
 toy town train services
 honking on approach

 up here you all look like
 ants who have
 gained human traits
  
 a thirst for farming
 more than aphids
  
 up here skylarks translating 
 the silence of masts
 stood in muted alarm 

 heavy metal orchids
 so rare they’re padlocked
 in barbed wire cages
  
 at Lewes the ramparts
 of Mount Caburn 
 like a bowl cut 
 but you promised
 the reality was far 
 more blood-soaked
  
 Ouse water a
 concrete slow worm
 with seaweed on the side
 and rusting iron cranks
 crawling with a sea
 of red spider-mites
  
 hare barely 
 breaking barley
 her winging blues
 and tortoiseshells
  
 the wooden bridge
 where the crow
 begs a toll like a child 

© Daniel James Greenwood 2020

New poetry booklet: Sumptuous beasts

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I am very pleased to share with you my new poetry booklet, Sumptuous beasts.

This is my second collection of poems after I am living with the animals in 2014.

The front cover is a great crested newt painted by Henrietta MacPhee. Thank you Henrietta for this beautiful picture.

The cost of printing was paid for by Teresa and Michael Greenwood and all proceeds will be donated to charity. Obviously I am not expecting to build too many hospitals. I will post an update on here if I the amount I have to donate is worth promoting!

The booklets are £2.50, postage is 84p. There is a limited run of 250 copies.

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I would like to dedicate several of the poems to Richard Woolley, someone who cared very much about nature and the things that appear in these poems. Rich was with me in some of the poems featured, namely The heart races, We are the axis and Moonmade fields. Likewise thanks to everyone else who accompanied me on walks and offered experiences that inspired these, if you’ve read them you should know who you are!

If you would like to buy a copy please follow this link. Thanks to everyone who has supported me over time with writing and inspiring me to write these. Hopefully you will realise how easy it is to create something and will do it yourself.

As you can tell from the title these poems are about nature and wild animals. They are from a period of about five years, covering trips to Ireland, Romania, Czechia and throughout the UK in Northumberland, Exmoor and Norfolk.

I don’t decide what I will write about, it is usually a fragmented process of gathering bits together, always from spending time outside. It just happened that this was threaded together around our non-human neighbours on this planet. I personally feel my life would be far lonelier and poorer without sharing spaces with wildlife. I hope that comes across in this booklet if you read any of it.

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Thanks again and happy autumn.

Daniel

Poetry: Spider silk

Spider silk-1



Spider silk



Reaching for the black
and bulbous fruit
I risk the crab spider
opening its arms and
legs in defence

might it mistake
my finger for the body
of a honey bee

paralyse it, carry it away
into a brambly underworld

perhaps not
but still my fingers
bloodied by raking thorns
and broken berries

they are knotted
in discarded spider silk
a long-forgotten scaffold

with bundled bodies
of emptied hoverflies


© Daniel James Greenwood 2018

Poetry: The falcon etched

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The falcon etched



Wait with the falcon etched
into cove rock at Malham,
meadowsweet aglow
in the fields below.


Wait for the falcon etched,
with those cheeks streaked,
drawn like the scars
on the limestone it enlivens.


Does it ever move,
bird or fossil.


This dale holds great riches
for those talons and talents
to savour.




© Daniel James Greenwood 2017

Poetry: Goshawk

goshawk-1


In the dunes we hear his hoarse
hollering, with reindeer lichens
and crumbling caverns of sand
arriving where our feet
meet the horizon.

We run under the clouds
the sea to our side
to see the wind tugging his
hair curling from his head

eyes glistening behind eggs
of steel-rimmed glasses:
he’s seen a goshawk below
hiding in a bramble bush.






© Daniel James Greenwood 2016

Poetry: Chafers

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Swilling in hawthorn
a restless summer evening on the downs
its yellow and white bedstraw
fit for our bodies, backs and snoring
our gritting teeth

I watch the chafers
as they become silhouettes
as their numbers slide
into the bristling night
drunk on dusk
the dip, swoop and dive

returning to an uncertain
place in the sky

 



© Daniel James Greenwood 2015

Poetry: Swanscombe

Colts foot growing at Swanscombe Marsh

The concrete and riverside
flip flop driftwood and rope
harrier haunting a level of reeds
some policeman of phragmites
of seedy beards that bend and shiver
to the breathing Thames

and its godlike pylon
with chickweed toenails
and ravens for lice.

It’s an icon of a time
when England created
for an age when
she will but consume.

Marshland—
you will be deleted.

© Daniel James Greenwood 2015

Swanscombe Marshes is threatened by an impending planning application from London Paramount to turn the area into a theme park. This could have devastating consequences ecologically. Please have a look at the following links:

Petition to Save Swanscombe
Save Swanscombe Marshes website