After a row

By Tom Pickard b. 1946 Tom Pickard
A lapwing somersaults spring
flips over winter and back.

After a fast walk up long hills, my limbs
the engine of  thought, where burn
bubbles into beck and clough to gill,
beneath a sandstone cliff  balanced on a bed of shale
and held from hurtling by Scots pine
that brush a scrubby sky with cloud snow scutters,
I found a place to sit
                 by snapping watta smacking rocks
and wondered — how would it be for you?

And so, alone,
                  un-alone even, in my anger,
bring you here.

Source: Poetry (October 2013).


This poem originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2013


In impoverished northeastern England, Tom Pickard co-founded and for several years managed Morden Tower, a poetry center situated on a medieval city wall in the industrial sector of Newcastle upon Tyne. As Eric Mottram commented in Primary Sources, there "the finest British and American poets read at a time when they were unheard elsewhere in [England]." Pickard related that in 1984, "Morden Tower celebrated its twentieth year . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure, Life Choices, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Trees & Flowers


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