Marsh Harrier

Silhouetted by a grey sunrise,

a shallow ‘V’ emerged from the fenland mist;

gliding low along the reeds of Hurn dyke,

mere metres from the ground.


A cold wind tugged from the east

and its form faulted, just once;

flattening, then twisting, before

disappearing behind a saltern rise.


My eyes traced along corrugated earth,

the undulating curves of the saltern

a reminder of an iron age;

of salt-making and industry; of history, and settlements.

Now just another ploughed field,

the ancient mound receded

and the ‘V’ reappeared;

a steady movement over a blurred horizon.


Perhaps for the last time

I crouched beneath the old horse-chestnut trees;

nettle stalks and grasses limp at my knees.


It was larger now; fingers wide and upturned,

black tips emerging from

broad bands of brown and white.


He called out to me,

tail fanned and wide, twisting skyward; his

ghostly scream a

warning in the air.


Flickering above bare branches he

turned towards the east; his

black outline once more a

silhouette in the sky.


I wondered whether

he would return in the summer

when the horse-chestnuts were gone and

the houses had been built.


He drifted away, form and colour

fading back to grey.

A shallow ‘V’, low and gliding over the fields, the

marsh harrier then merged into the fenland mist.



Jeremy Barron





Wild Bluebells


I stared at the photo,

my half reflection

smeared in the dust.


She was standing there, still

turned and distant,

the scent of wild bluebells

a punishment in the air.


Closing my eyes

I floated through a dappled copse,

and in a sea of purple


we kissed. And cried. And laughed.

But when I looked again,

she had gone.  


Jeremy Barron


This poem was long-listed in the York Literary Festival Poetry Competition 2015

Lonely child


I imagined a mother once,

crafted from chalk dust

on coarse, black card.


She was smiling a red smile

beneath a yellow sun,

beside a blue house;

dust smudged over the windows and doors.


But unlike the others

with their faces so keen;

hands waving in the air

I was

not there.


And at a quarter past three

when the day grew dark,

large hands cradling small

they returned to their homes.

And I was left behind

clutching the coarse black card;

house, sun and mother


smeared on my thighs.




Citroen Visa

“Get in,” I said.

The tyres were bald, the roof was pink and

I was eighteen.


With no indicators

and the choke

hanging by her knees,

we wheel spun round Westover.


Through the mist of rubber

her white knuckled body

sunk low into her seat.

And with my elbow on the window –

Hey Mickey thumping in the air,

I knew

she was impressed.


But, on the next date,

she was in another man’s car.



As he opened his eyes, the first thing that alarmed him was the scream. The second was that he could not breathe.

          Everywhere was red and the siren was wailing. He fell from his bunk, landing on his knees. There was no air. The sound was deafening. With his right elbow on the bunk, he tried to lever himself up, but the strain was too much and he collapsed again onto the metal deck. He grabbed his throat. His lungs jerked. But everywhere was red, and there was no air.

          He tried to speak, to shout out, but the siren was too loud. His muscles began to spasm. Consciousness was slipping. And through his blurred vision, drifting towards him in a sea of red, were four figures.

          Then there was darkness.


The Sound of Silence PDF