On the Viaduct

Our train approaches the estuary, the tide
out. A quivering skin of weed and water,
frilled at the edges, distorts the distant hills.

Those familiar figures with their fowling pieces,
have they gone to ground? Do they reload behind
the dunes, or did they encroach only

in the mind? And this sense of having
been here before: was it as children
or with lost loves long reduced to ghostly

presences? No chance to find out: picking
up speed we tilt with the line's camber,
in the smeared windows the sheen of sky

and open sea, our lives held momentarily
in abeyance while the arches of the viaduct,
and the land beyond, pull remorselessly away.


“Stewart Conn's Estuary is a masterly collection by a masterly poet whose almost casual profundity never fails to hit the mark.” — Ron Butlin (Sunday Herald books of the year)

“This beautifully produced pamphlet contains twenty-three poems (which) sustain a remarkable consistency of tone without ever being predictable, and time and again confirms his capacity for concision or expansiveness as mood and subject dictate. The four lines of 'Resolve'

All I know is, there must come
times more wondrous which will
set white horses dancing, in our
nostrils the fragrance of far islands.

seem to me to achieve a kind of perfection."

— Jeremy Page, The Frogmore Papers


          Estuary front cover
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Estuary, back cover