New poem from William Searle

William’s one of the stars of the first Days of Roses anthology and he’s currently working on a PhD with Andrew Motion. He’s been writing a sequence of poems about a fisherman, of sorts, called Edward Swin. To steal a line from Nick Drake, Will’s a rare, rare find and I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to publish the first poem from the sequence here.

Edward Swin


I heard him before I saw him. He came to me
as rain hissing into rain, then a flash standing
upright to sing his name, Edward Swin-

a stout broad backed baker of holy bread,
a miraculous figure of mystery, a jack of all
immaterial trades, a folklorist of gales,

a discrete photographer of animal silence,
a little sacred man, a bubbling sound of hope.
He kept me up all night like a nagging star,

a dream of insomnia, telling me that he was
everything more or less, a movement of presence,
the injured owl I found suffering amongst

messy bales of old hay. At the foot of my bed
he swayed smiling like happy magnet fire,
showing me arcane insignia tattooed

in lovely riddles from his elbows to his wrists.
He possessed a wild goat’s sky-rock stare,
skin as rare and soft as a Snowdonia lily,

a voice of my mother’s, father’s, brother’s
combined but convincingly harmonised
into a key of no earthly scale, a hymn of all

hymns, a beautiful disturbance. Believe me.
Every thought of his was a snowflake’s
blueprint coming to be upon our mountain of time.

Will’s also in fine company in the Salt Book Of Younger Poets due out later this year, edited by Roddy Lumsden.

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