The pressure pops and I’m shocked out of sleep.

Up north the heathered hills gave me shelter,

But they glowered down like traitorous guards

Whose spears would turn if the clouds gathered right.


Evening sun lies heavy on the lowlands.

These great skies, huge enough to hold old gods

Now allow me to gaze from here to her,

To see the line of her heart lying flat

As the fens do.


They never change, come rain,

Come sun, come the wind that whips you sideways

In winter. They lie damp, concealing dark

And deathly secrets, never to reveal –


For there is not one relenting crevice

With which the ground could breathe out the horror.

She will become one with this green and lush

and unforgiving land, returned to worms

Who unblinkingly devour her kind face,

kind mouth, her bright and glittering kind and godly eyes.


Tonight, the city flickers in concert.

Every light winks invitingly from the soft roll of the valley’s belly below,

Blurred by the curtain of drizzle that separates us


The gentlest of seductions.


The metallic glows of red and orange leave a trail of warmth below the scar on my stomach, but I will not be drawn.

If I just brush the cold pane I touch them all a little,

Fingers quivering over each one to tease, and then I withdraw.

I wonder who sees my own glow, their eyes playing over it like a child’s hands on the strings of an unfamiliar guitar.


Tomorrow, a new clear-water light will wash the city clean,

In the hollows between the fires of the night will be steel, glinting;

Every inch of the valley sprouting startling redbrick and concrete growths.

What lies behind each measured edge, each broken stone?

I might run down the road below, still rain-soaked and steaming in the sun

And gladly let the maze swallow me whole.


Words : Pippa Le Grand

Photos : Rachelle Cox