A poem a day: The Fear


Some impressive storm viewed outside the window, I love the drama of these thundery days.  Apart from that, today has been one of those “whatever-you-do-it-won’t-be-good-enough” days.  Today’s poetry prompt for a poem that “includes a line that you’re afraid to write”. What to choose?  There are probably many lines I’m afraid to write!  (Or of admitting to in order to write it.) The current thing I’m afraid of is the “I can’t do this” feeling I’m wrestling with.  I’m trying to not let a piece of writing defeat me (daft as that sounds). This poem, then, a quick draft between trying to think of how to sketch out ways of critiquing maps.  (I’ll write about this again at some point, possibly not in verse.)


The Fear

A crumpled piece of paper behind the heart,

can you run and face whatever is in the black?

It is Lords Wood at night black.  How to get back?

If you can climb a tree, see the city halo arc

the sky, the faint fluorescent bow

a glow somewhere beyond Hopwood Clough.

If you can, follow the swift slick of Trub Brook,

circles of millstone deep in the bank,

then sludge uphill to Rochdale Road.


Hitch a ride with a man who checks his phone,

answering texts with one hand on the wheel.

How safe do you feel now?  As safe as the last time?

That time, somewhere in Swinton with silver change,

the engine thick as the brook on the tongue.




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