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Vikings have sewn an old lining onto
North east words, armed for water and rain,
hupstitch - every now and again.
To labber is to dabble in water (with oar?)
while labbering is when you're floundering.
Plodging is paddling in a splodgy way.
Puddles are sumps. A pond is a stank.
Jumly is muddy water you might find
in a syke - a ditch or a little brook.
Daized, those Vikings plodged out of the sea
into the swale. Likely its roaky too.
A wave themselves, jauped onto the sands
in need of rench, their armour being so drawked
soaked through and sodden with sea salt.
They'd have brought Thor's hammer with them.
Now brattles, Thor's own claps, begin.
Comes a spait of rain, a great fall.
It teems down, a thunner pash, if ever
there was one
and lovely I'd say
is blashey puddliness of clashy day
wet, with bursts of rain. Such walsh weather
you can wallow in. Just daggy
doesn't make sumps for plodging in
or the blaw hang heavy-ish.
For that you need Thor's thunner pash.
swale cold bleak air roaky misty jauped shaken up rench rinse brattle thunderclap daggy drizzly blaw blossoms
You jump or slip from the rail of a ship
And fall forever down to a cold splash,
There met by mermen eyes
That guide you to the depths,
Dark and removed from light,
To a city hidden in the sea.
There you are treated as an honored guest,
And spend the years listening
To the tunes of passing fish,
And plucking a harp of seaweed
All the while scrawling indecipherable figures
On the bulkheads of sunken ships,
Mystifying sharks and nautiluses
And octopi jetting by in swirls of black ink.
Treasure Ground by Clare Best describes two years spent as a resident poet on a Lincolnshire farm. The poems introduce us to many kinds of vegetable, fruits and livestock; and they also take us into the fens by means of short poems where the white space between terse one- or two-line stanzas helps suggest wide expanses of flat fields. The intriguing names of the fields themselves appear in the collection's title poem. People make rather infrequent appearances and seem outnumbered by farm machines, such as the tractor whose Front tyres bulge, water filled / so the beast won't rear up. Some of the poems feel a little like hasty sketches, as if Best wants to make sure of at least mentioning all the experience and lore she has gained. Sometimes it seems that a phrase or place name carries a special resonance for the author that is not really conveyed to the reader. At their best, however, the poems do enhance and go far beyond mere lists or descriptions: a store of onions is a dark red sea / of unshed tears; and, for baby chicks, Their universe is infrared / with deep wood shavings. An even more striking image is a vast billowing sail of birds / like a parachute steadying the plough. As a record of two years of life and human activity, the book has a rather uniformly earnest feel. The poem 'How to be considerate to sheep' introduces a rare lighter tone - When you're known to the sheep you meet, / put them at ease... But even this poem ends on a dark note: encourage the unknown slaughterman to smile.