Image by Caroline Forbes

Note from the Outside

Note from the Outside

Here are busy streets of fish,
dead tower-blocks squatted by gulls.

When they dropped me off at the wood's edge
I was stammered by green,
I was torn to rags by the silence.
I walked like a bent pin,
stubbing my toes on the emptiness.

Remember that library book about the ocean?
You should see the night sky:
its buoys and lighthouses,
its flares and shipping lanes.


From Hard Water (Jonathan Cape, 2003), copyright © Jean Sprackland 2003, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Recordings

Jean Sprackland Reading from her Poems

1Note from the Outside

2Hard Water

3Fibre Optics

4Reading Leaves

5The Apprentice

6The Currency of Jellyfish

7The Light Collector

8The Room of Saints and Virgins

9Seacoal

10Losing the Dark

11Holy

12No Man's Land

13Barbie on the Roof

14Lovell Radio Telescope, Jodrell Bank

15The Hairdresser's Across the Street

16And They All Lived Happily Ever After

17A Baby in the Filing Cabinet

18Before There Were Weather Forecasts

19Caravan

20The Man who Comes to Empty the Bottle Bank

21Shocks

22A Hangman's New Career

23The Mission

24An Old Friend Comes to Stay

25Everything Must Go

26Shadow Photograph

27Learning to Love Money

28Teaching Frogs to Fly

29Deadnettle

30In the Planetarium

31Radio Silence

32Tattoos for Mothers' Day

33Ice on the Beach

34You

35Physics

36Spilt

37Underfire

Books & cds by Jean Sprackland