by Robin Boothroyd

Bent Over Backwards, by Marissa Textor

I think, given the absence of the sea/salt/sky from my recent scribblings, that I may have gathered the majority of the material for ‘Fathom’ (details here). I may be wrong. Anyway, it’s perhaps about time I posted the section which will end the poem, where the eponymous word appears for the one and only time.


One day on Beachy Head
up there
where the salt-gale sculpts
the downland shrubs
I fathomed the depth
of the entire ocean…

but in the instant I knew
I had already forgotten.


The closing lines link back to the opening – an effect which suggests the perpetual movement of the tides. Those of you with a keen eye might recognise a variant on the “downland shrubs” line from ‘Fifteen One-line Poems‘ – a valued motif of mine.

Now to start editing ‘Fathom’…