The following poem is from The Years Fulfilled - The Collected Poems of Dorothy Gibson 1941- 2001


Fishing Boats at Leigh-on-Sea


Ebony boats poised midway between

apricot sea and sky,

or squat and square under flyaway clouds

on a running tide;

post-impressionist boats on a smudgy dawn,

or motionless on a frozen sea

with a handful of stars:

smoke grey in ebb tide mud and mist of rain.


Little cockle boats with sturdy ribs

and solid hulks with a haul of fish

coming home through a rain of fire

from the dropping sun,

as they once came home from Dunkirk:

little fleet with a haul of courage

and of grief.


From sea and sky and boats

on a stream of coloured days

I have a haul of dreams,

shining and strange and sharp

as a heap of cockle shells.

 Dorothy Gibson



















































Thin and scratchy, that’s the sound of the dunnock:

the sound, if you like, of spring –

not yet full-throated

just beginnings


It floats, if floats is the word for a song,

above the celandine, the stitchwort and the sorrel

like a ghost of former springs and other people.


A sound that brings them back:

children I knew, now dead, in the woods

at One Tree Hill or Westley Heights –

arms full of bluebells before ecology

with ears attuned to the chiffchaff,

     the yaffle and the cuckoo.


Like the windup gramophone I found on Pitsea Tip:

the box of needles, Tommy Steele, Pat Boone,

     - The Laughing Policeman –


Thin and scratchy

            as I think of

                        all those boys

                                    the girls I fancied.


The spring, slack, unwound, unwindable:

going back a virtual recording in the mind

as the dunnock sings


- If sings

                          is the word

                                                          for a needle


in a groove –


          Stuck. Thin. Repetitive. Scratchy.



*(Hedge Accentor, Hedge Sparrow or Dunnock)


The above piece was a commended poem in the George Crabbe poetry competition of 2018













How we mistreated you,

tore off your leaves

to rub against our skin

hoping that you would take the sting

out of living.

We hurt you

because we our selves were hurt.

We lashed out

and left the nettle alone.

It was cowardly, I know,

and our shame grew

like the green stain

you left on us -

the mark on the palm

of the hand.



Published in 'Finding the River Horse' Littoral Press 2017



Adrian Green - Sample Poem:


Chasing Dylan’s Muse in Rathbone Street


“To the drunken Welsh poet who staggered towards her through the smokey fug

               of The Wheatsheaf, she appeared an angelic beauty.”

                     (The Observer,  Sunday November 26, 2006)


A long way from Swansea

to this place, made famous

by your meeting


and it is hard to imagine the energy,

excess of words and ale,

the arguments and laughter

surrounding you.


The wooden panels oppress,

close down the space, and darken

the bar I sit and scribble in.


More serious now,

yet there is tradition,

a continuity of sorts,

while technicians,

dressed in studio black,

discuss the sound and lighting rigs

for future television shows.


A long way from turbulence

at the Taf rivermouth,

the boathouse quiet, or

drunken nights at Brown’s Hotel,

but here, at lunch,

I listen for echoes, wonder

at the photos fading on the walls.


Published in 'Chorus and Coda - Littoral Press 2007

































































The Tower Door


These autumn evenings it's her turn

to lock the tower door. She approaches 

from inside, hesitates in the dark

of the stone walls. The door's shut

and through the keyhole the low sun

slices gold into the chamber.

It touches the dust, it spikes

her worn shoes, her skirt

her bodice as she draws closer.

It dissects her hand  - skin, veins, bones -

it lights the key -


Published in 'Singing for Mr Bear - littoral press 2014






Swallows like midshipmen,

tack across a field of flax,

gybing before the wind,

hawking for flies -

trawling in the hatch.


Buff bellies spraying pollen

instead of salt

as they heel into this heady

sea of flowers -

rise into mackerel sky.


Published in Double Vision by Clare Harvey & Mervyn Linford - Littoral Press 2015






On the rocks


Hot sunlight sparkles across the Serpentine,

echoing in the bursting bubbles

it catch lights in our Cokes;                  

contrasted by the dull glint of the ice cubes.


Your words sail, windborne

on the slow grassy air,

they float gently,

over the white plastic glare

of the Plantery Bar  table,

"This is beautiful, I could stay here all day".


Ice clinks in your glass.

I bask in your presence,

blissfully unaware of the titanic finality

of this afternoon,

of what lies hidden behind your sunglasses.


Published in 'Everyday Objects and Chance Remarks' - Littoral Press 2005