Caught by the River

Difference: a poem by Emily Hasler

15th July 2018

All winter the river was one creature.
It shrank and expanded, but maintained
its borders. I saw to the bottom. Firm sinew.

Clear curve. I swam in it long as I could bear.
Now it is many things: muddy-shored, grass
fuzzing edges, trees that overreach

and vibrate with reflection. Insects came,
pocked the surface with legs and wings.
Then clumps of grass, detached weeds,

fur of blossoms pollen the bottom
too became confused lifting off in slicks
of mud brown trout and me

temperate following a mirrored
vapour trail an inverted bankline
green and yellow bands bobbing

beyond reach we are bodies I think and unthink


Taken from Emily Hasler’s The Built Environment , and published with permission from Pavilion Poetry (Liverpool University Press).

Emily reads on our stage at this year’s Port Eliot festival.