Black Water Side
Your mind is a house full of people running through rooms
looking for keys. Doors slam, but far away,
so softly you’re not even sure you heard it. Turn
the door knob and step into the freezing landscape.
Notice the weeping willow bending over the beck.
The black water now runs red.
Your life is here, made up of minutes, hours, naps,
errands, routine. The little things have to be enough.
The valley is reduced to the side of a fell and cloud coming in.
The sheep are cragfast, the deer keep falling down.
You’ve nowhere else to go and you’re sure of it now—
this is the wrong mountain.
Black Water Side was first published on Amaryllis in December 2015 - it is taken from Richard's new pamphlet 'The Malvern Aviator'
Richard Skinner is a writer working across fiction, life writing, essays, non-fiction and poetry. He has published three novels with Faber & Faber and three books of non-fiction. His poetry has appeared in the Faber anthology First Pressings (1998) and in anthologies for William Blake, John Berger and Médicines Sans Frontières. He has published three books of poems with Smokestack: ‘the light user scheme’ (2013), ‘Terrace’ (2015) & ‘The Malvern Aviator’ (2018). Richard is Director of the Fiction Programme at Faber Academy.