A Poem by Catherine Baker


It came slow

Two years of evenings from winter
to summer and around again.
Surrounded in plans, wood shavings,
the smell of glue and cedar thick the air.
Hands hard, slick with varnish.
Pipe clenched between stunning teeth.
It came slow, this dreaming himself free.

He steered it down cow parsley lanes,
pushed it to float in the shallows,
raised the red sail.

Left his children life-jacketed on the shore,
his woman sulking moody in the dunes.
He lifted into blue flax looseness,
the white sky stroking his bony shoulders
breathing up salt sticky spray.
He skimmed, soared the sparkle
as mackerel flared and swooped.
Silver flashes under his feet.


Catherine Baker has been published by Stand, Snakeskin and Amaryllis. She has poems in anthologies such as Poetry from Gloucestershire and Ways to Peace. She was runner up in the Gloucestershire Writers Network poetry competition in 2018, and her poem was read at Cheltenham Literature Festival.