melting ice

R. D. Wood


melting ice –


then water came;

through the flood

into the fish –

dreamproof skiffs

scale and fist

water came, water

the dolphins dart

but sea still is, fire red,


in the skiff

flood does not believe us

the towropes vulturegrip


to a sea, drinks it

the salt of a co-

in the wrinkled flood

the ropes, salt-water-clammy

greybacked, seaworthy


three standing whales

the sacrificecall, the saltflood


musselheap: with


storm riddled

raincord breaking

to the harbour

the swimming mourning-domain

through which we swam, two dreams now, tolling

we swam, naked, swam


R. D. Wood first came to Martin Harrison’s work via his criticism and essays. Wood edits for Peril and hosts a reading series with The School of Life. Find out more at

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