Tres poemas, de Neil Leadbater (de Wolverhampton)

8.00 a.m. in the Flood Meadows -Autumn Morning at Hesketh Bank

You can’t see the sea from here but it’s out there, somewhere.

The Ordnance Survey says so. You can sense it, too,

in the morning air; smell the brine off the salt marsh.

It is the end of the line, or even the world, the last

sandbar ridged by the tide.

Out here, it is easy for thoughts to slip anchor.

Nothing is rooted. Flood waters run where they will

and any wind, given the chance, will exploit a break

through the sill. On certain nights,

when a cold draught rolls off the wave, a sea-fog

can fall like a curtain.

So we sit it out in safety; laugh behind the brick-walled barns

watch the gulls snooping for voles, the black head

of a startled coot, and the top deck of the Southport bus

inching along the road:

the only certainty you can set a watch to.

The Fallen Elm

Overnight it happened

in the long, rip-flapping, tent-snapping darkness

and it made us sad that any tree should come to grief

this way.

When the wind-thrashed, blustery rain-squall

bowled in the day,

we consoled ourselves, you and I, willed

it would rest on its roots, that

all that was called for was a shifting of gears

like a man who briefly loses his balance

to gain his own equilibrium.

In all the years of our long lives

it had given nothing away.

Now as we peer into its hollow rim

how closely we have come to see the vapour moths and


whose quiet industry has worked its way

into the dead centre

of everything.

The Night Transmission

It must have been close to midnight when we found

the burnt-out truck.

A torch lit up

the rear advance of night flies, all manner of

startled moths

that circled round the frame.

Beneath the dashboard was the radio. A clear,

authoritative bell-like sound

intoning the holy trilogies…

At the edge of the wood

the broadcast fell among ears of wheat.

Its text was almost scriptural.


Neil Leadbeater
was born 1951, in Wolverhampton, England. Educated at Repton School, Derbyshire, England. BA (Hons) English, University of London (1973). His poetry books are:  Hoarding Conkers at Hailes Abbey (Littoral Press, 2010); Amazing World (leaflet) (Atlantean Publishing, 2010) and Librettos for the Black Madonna (White Adder Press, 2011). His work has appeared in the following anthologies: The Review of Contemporary Poetry (Ed. Gary Bills) (Bluechrome Publishing, 2005); 101 Poets For a Cornish Assembly (Ed. Les Merton) (Boho Press, 2006) and The Real Survivors Anthology (Ed. Barry Tebb) (Sixties Press, 2006). His poems and short stories have appeared in the following magazines: Aabye’s Baby; Aireings; Aspire; Awen; Bard; Breathe; Candelabrum; Carillon; Chanticleer Magazine; Coffee House Poetry; Creature Features (Cyprus); Critical Survey; Curlew; Dandelion Arts Magazine; Decanto; Dial 174; Earth Love; Envoi; Exile; Fife Lines; Fire; First Time; ibid; Inclement; iota; Island; Lines Review; Littoral Magazine; Markings; Never Bury Poetry; Oasis; Obsessed with Pipework; Panda Quarterly Poetry Magazine; Pennine Ink; Pennine Platform; Phoenix New Life Poetry; Poetic Licence; Poetry Cornwall; Poetry Greece (Greece); Poetry Monthly; Poetry Monthly International; Poetry Nottingham International; Poetry Scotland; Pulsar; Purple Patch; Pushing Out The Boat; Quantum Leap; Quarry; Reach Poetry; Red Herring; Reflections; Sarasvati; Saw; Sepia; Superfluity; The Dawntreader; The Eildon Tree; The Journal; The Red Wheelbarrow; The Seventh Quarry; The Shop (Eire); Thorny Locust (USA); Understanding; Urban District Writer; Urban Landscapes; Voice and Verse; Yorkshire Journal; Weyfarers; Writer’s Review.

The follow poems are from his book Hoarding Conkers at Hailes Abbey.