New poem from Harriet Moore

Harriet’s another of Mark Ford’s ‘Six Children’ and is currently in the middle of her finals at UCL. She wrote this poem for Roddy’s 28 Project.


on all fours, at the shore of winter,
I check treebark against swatches, bloodtesting trunks for tombs,

(I dreamed this deadwood ship, flotsam mausoleum
of dark-fish making my way down the Styx one fin in front of the other,

This is where I lost my voice. Knee-deep in larynx crossing
gangplanks back from the edge of the world, homeward in the dry-rot of dark

we have strayed further apart than I ever imagined, there is a deeper place but
I haven’t found it, the aftershocks keep coming in with the tide)

once I had deep blood, it thins with every fell,
veins wasted sampling newborn forests
for timber to replace bone

shin twigs, right down to quicksand of marrow
where it all began, everything kindling, or tidewrack, matching bloodtypes
with shrubs

you would not believe how long it takes us to lumbar puncture oaks,
to sift branches for the right type of spine

only two thirds done, husk of ship, shallow grave,
and he’s beckoning me, arthritic,
the driftwood ferryman with a fist of souls

Hear Harriet read two poems on Poetcasting here

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