Caught by the River

Alport Castles: a poem by Helen Mort

7th July 2016

for J.W.

The wind let the landscape move
how it always wanted to,

leaned us together
like ferns, or upper branches

and we walked the slope
believing we were part of the scenery

talking about music and summits,
places we’d never go again.

Then the rocks finished my sentence –
tall and architectural:

their moat of grass
their keep of clouds,

more intricate than any human fort.
We sat up high and praised

like two off-duty gods
as if a view was something

made. And the clouds
over Derwent mended

and we were briefly glorious,
though neither of us had

built, would build a single thing.


Taken from Helen’s second collection, No Map Could Show Them, which is available to purchase here in the Caught by the River shop.

Helen Mort will read in the Faber Poetry Chapel at Caught by the River Thames on Saturday 6 August.