The Cold Tap Sings

the p-word

Tag: Beachy Head


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’…



So I spent the weekend down on the Sussex coast and it gave me the chance to do some concentrated writing and research into the new project I’m pretty excited about: ‘Fathom’. The idea is for it to be a longer poem (as in longer than my usual 1o lines!) about the sea and about Sussex – about Sussex by the sea. Here’s one of the sections in draft.



Years ago
we were walking
boots bouncing
off the Seven Sisters’
soft turf
when a fresh
wreath of mist
rolled in
off the sea
to cloak us
in coolness.

Do you remember?

The sun shone down
as if through milk.

Then as quickly
as the dream-stuff
it dispersed
and we danced through summer
once more.


Click on the tag below for previous drafts from ‘Fathom’. I’ll be posting more content soon, including an expanded version of ‘Salt-Blood’ (scroll down, or indeed click here).