Under the flyover, the 21 deep locks,

a flight of graves. And then

the road, the yellow houses,

neither-nor-lands, scrub and stream.


The new estates with spider plants

and backyard trampolines and

thoroughfares that follow packhorse trails

into the dog-walk scraps of field


where ridge and furrow still lies

one span high and one stride wide,

wrinkling the land like a furrowed brow

trying to remember something.






We find that on the shortest days,

the longest days, the days most in-between,

the high street clogs with Druids.


The blue road down from Honeystreet

cleaves twilight into corrugated slopes.

The rooks spin up like ash into the winter.


The house is proofed with candle wax

and whiskey. Both of us trusting, working,

borrowing against the warmer days.




Jo Bell is a working poet and the former director of National Poetry Day in the UK. She is now the Canal Laureate for the UK appointed by the Poetry Society and Canal and River Trust. Read and hear more of her work at