Sarah Stovell & William Oxley

Sarah Stovell

The Aging Earth

You’ve spun time since the beginning, old globe. A
forest of ages
lies behind you; through its branches we glimpse:
reptiles; ice;
volcanoes; rock; and eons of nothing at all.

You’re more than middle-aged now. Four-and-a-half
billion years
and they say you’ll go on for six. But this, your finest,
most fertile
hour is closing and you suffer with the change.

You are hot. There’s not enough ice left to cool your
face ‒ you sweat
a monsoon. It floods the earth but still your deserts
creep and spread
and baked mountains weep their snow.

You won’t go gently, but rage against it; high seas
throw salt
on parched ground, betrayed, but still we hope you’ll
find a way
to take our children into the shade, and turn your face
from the sun.

Sarah Stovell was born in 1977 and spent most of her life in the Home Counties before a season working in a remote North Yorkshire youth hostel made her realise she was a northerner at heart. She now lives in Northumberland with her partner and two children and lectures in Creative Writing at Lincoln University.


William Oxley

Wave and Particle Time

The sea rises and rises and rises
Then falls and falls and falls
It is part of the world’s breathing.

Fields sigh and are stroked by
A hand that cannot be seen:
Then, while birds bicker around, fields purr
Wind and sun fill them with contentment.

Work we have to, match and mate,
But spare a little time to listen:
Trees do, your dogs, even your cats do,
To hear and see, or if not to see, hear
The ingenious pulsing of this and that,
Wave and particle time.

William Oxley was born in Manchester. His poems have been published in magazines and journals
in many countries. A study of his poetry, The Romantic Imagination,
appeared in 2005 from Poetry Salzburg. He has given readings throughout the UK, as well as abroad in Nepal, Antibes and elsewhere.