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Search Party

Elaine Baker

After WS Graham


Something beckons, suckered to the hull

that we must search the blinking shores for.

We are blindfolded, clad in light 

but bracken turns boots black,

hunger drives us back to hearths.

We are so starved we cannot



Nights compress, drenched sand, salt frets.

We cling on, carve out the nothing, 

feed in words, hear voices leagues away

deadened, caught in traps.

Can we dive to the depths, resist the lies

that float bladder-white,

truths spangling our naked sides?


Listen still.

The tide comes, fathers slewed hours,

leaves what it chooses. In the interior

an owl is snagged on trees, the moor calls

and we still wear the blindfolds.

We forget what we are looking for.


We fetch the notes from gales,

pin them round our hearth fires.


Commissioned by the National Poetry Library as part of Constructing Spaces. In partnership with graduates of the Poetry School’s MA in Writing Poetry.