Standing Water

As a child, like most children, my favourite past-times included hunting for creatures under stones and logs, trying to dig 'escape tunnels', and climbing where I shouldn't. But I particularly enjoyed the singular process of lifting the lid of the waterbutt and looking in, fascinated by the mosquito larvae and their strange tubular bodies, the way they flicked about, the cleanly foetid smell, the rusty water level which fluctuated very satisfyingly. It was the same with ponds and puddles and bogs.
I wanted to transmit, in this new poem, the fecundity of standing water, larvae-ridden and teeming and carnal ! It's not finished.

Standing Water

holds still inside the dawn

deep as nightshade’s slippers;

a mat of clover, ears to the ground

glows pink and cream in rabbit light.

Day strings her waterwalkers

on light bent feet,

beetles hefting air,

whirligigs in full fling frenzy;

shifting larvae, seed-head, clouds

in urgent coalescence -

as backshackled lice teem over moles

and stoat ripples to water, drinks,

and flesh leaps into flesh,

drinks and flies -


  1. Wow I love this Sarah! It's me... Dean, remember? I guess you thought I'd left without ever saying a word. I did I suppose. Your poems are so superb and intriguing. I adore the varying subject matter.

    Kindest thoughts,


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