Walking, Home

Long listed for the WALKING HOME writing competition run in January & February 2022

A whimbrel over Repton reservoir.’
It’s come to this, catching whiffs of news
about the village I grew up in
and finding it in someone else’s birding notes online.
It’s now remotely that I trace where I once was, and still
I think I know it better than those blogging cataloguers
for I walked its edges clean across from hilltop church,
through huddled hawthorns – touched their twists – leant against prevailing winds. 
But now I view by satellite deserted medieval fields
black death mass graves, that’s what our teachers said,
below the windmill and the brickyards’ quarry
where once I found a fossil ammonite
stranded in blue lias stone when the sea went down.
I beat those bounds each day,
ringing the rim of the reservoir,
skirting, never swimming in, nor wanting to,
its murky oil-swirled shallow depths.
It’s here I learnt ‘Dover Beach’ by rote for school exams, recited
‘Creep into thy narrow bed, Creep, and let no more be said!’
to my teenage long-suffering dog.
I felt whose fields we trod instinctively,
and could – still can – draw all their farmers’ families’ family trees
by heart.

Read more from the Long List of poems and stories submitted to the WALKING HOME writing competition. Listen to winning authors read their work at a showcase event on Sunday 25 September 2022 (booking details to follow).

Itching to write something yourself? Submit a piece to our Shorelines project, and invite your friends to read it aloud. Join one of our creative writing workshops or keep up to date with all our competitions by signing up to our curated newsletter here.

Purchase a copy of WALKING 2022 – an illustrated anthology of poems and stories on the theme of “Walking Home” for €4.99+p&p (see image to the left) or go for a bundle of WALKING 2022 AND WALKING 2021 – a similar illustrated anthology of poems and stories on the theme of “Walking and Listening”- a bumper package of 27 poems and stories and save €1.50 (see image to the right). Purchase from our Shop.

Bundle of two illustrated anthologies

nicky hallett

nicky hallett

United Kingdom

I write (plays, poetry and prose – fiction and non-fiction). My work had appeared in anthologies, books, magazines, and in performance, some of it in collaboration with a composer. I’m inspired by lives (especially those that are forgotten or delibe...

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