The Cold Tap Sings

the p-word

Tag: Salt

FATHOM – A Fisherman

Another extract from my ongoing recordings of ‘Fathom‘. Click here for the text.

You can listen to more recordings from ‘Fathom’ here.


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’…


Here’s another extract from ‘Fathom’. I’d realised up until this point that all the sections contained either animals or seascapes, so I thought I might write about a person. And who is closer to the sea than a fisherman? It was partly inspired by this antique playing card which I got for my birthday.



A fisherman
against the gale.

He saw snow
he saw sea


now brine
his veins.

Cut him
the wet



A fisherman.


Read more sections from ‘Fathom’ here.