Stay in the loop and register for email updates about events, competitions and all things poetry.
sign up now
Royal Festival Hall (Level 5), Southbank Centre, LondonOpen Tuesday - Sunday from 11am to 8pm
Time to Read
He's in his element, finding his stride
for every two of hers, beating the boot-worn
path to England's roof. She gave her word
to go along this once, to climb her mountain,
but hardly warms to the "hard pulse of walking",
the pace with which they poach their bird's eye view.
Surely this unexpected tarn will win
the town girl round, this startled blink of blue
from sleeping green. Surely she'll love heath.
But she's short sighted, short legged, short of breath
and when at dusk they round the clouded peak
his heart drops. Her empty gaze brings back
that reason she once gave for falling for
and still obliging him. Because he's there.
By the well of Thalmi, Ino my bride
come out of your house, come out in the night
with ship gods as well as land gods,
with bronze statues on the island
in the open air of Pephnos,
with the whiter than usual ants.
See the owls swoop down from the tower
on dark wires sure as death,
hunting in pairs back and forth
threading the night.
My mind empties around the tower
of Kapetanios Christeas and into the sea;
my old neighbour sings at night,
her imperfect beautiful voice
rises for no-one or the moon, Ino, for no-one
or the dark ocean wrapped around the world.