Today is National Poetry Day in the UK, and I’m celebrating here in Sweden by reading from one of my favourite poetry books Earth Shattering : Eco Poems (Bloodaxe Books). Here is my offering to the Gods of poetry…a poem inspired by my run last night.


How cold it is becoming

in the north.


Goosebumps surface like thistles

on my unsheltered arms.


Stars become visible, pin pricks

in the taught, dark skin of the sky.


I run with the taste of his snus

in my mouth.


The Arctic wind is at my back,

teasing my spine into a curve.


By the lakeside, two men fish.

I grasp words from a language

conceived in a country

thousands of miles from here.


When I pass again, firelight

warms their outstretched hands.


Two fish lie side by side

on flattened grass, mouths wide.

The lake has taken back their spirits.


A hare bursts across my path,

through a wall of high reeds,

and into a veiled pool.


I stop, listen as it thrashes through

deep water. I wonder if there’s a disease

unfurling in its brain. If I should wade in,

haul it out, twist its neck until I hear it break.


It emerges trembling, disappears

into the thick shadows of the forest.


I can’t see the path ahead now,

but your blood calls me.

It guides my way home.




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