Image by Caroline Forbes

Poem introduction

Custodian follows the route of a walk in the Lake District, and this is written for my nephew John Steel.

Custodian

Custodian

I charge you with the afterlife of that moment.
Return periodically across your life and see us
(you in your second decade, me in my fifth) still paused

at the gate between Snary Beck and Mockerkin How.
See again the white horse on the fell, the light
gilding its tail as and when the wind flickered.

We passed Snary Beck, Cogra Moss
was behind us, and I thought the animal's
poise as beautiful as anything on earth.

But it's our pause, the instinctive accord of it, and the light
which must also have been flickering in our hair,
I now find (shifting my gaze) more beautiful.


First published in Branch-lines: Edward Thomas and Contemporary Poetry edited by Guy Cuthbertson and Lucy Newlyn (Enitharmon, 2007), © Helen Farish 2007, used by permission of the author.

Recordings

Helen Farish Reading from her Poems

1Look at These

2Auto Reply

3Feathered Coyote

4Under the Bridge

5Mount Mirtagh and Back

6In the Church of St. Joseph Prague

7Treasures

8Surgery

9The Accident

10Mesoplodon Pacificus

11Blindfold

12The Old King's Garden

13The Lighthouse of Nauset

14Picnic Spots

15Brathay

16Slater Bridge

17Custodian

18Allington Cross

19The Lorton Valley

20To Whiteside

21Odyssey

22Plum Island

23Kit

24Rue des Lions

25What Held Us There

26Programme

27Coffin Path Poem

2824th June 1955

29Newly Born Twins

30Recording

31China Dogs

32July

33The White Gate

34Manicure

35Airing

36My Father's Dressing Gown

37‘Grant Us Time to Read and Ponder'

38Outside the Baker's

39Resurrection

40Dad's Barn

41Posting

42Appellation

Books & cds by Helen Farish