Mapping the campus of Loughborough University – in poetry.



beam engine: displacement

if what you’re beginning feels like the end,
maybe it’s time to



                                         left                                                   right



Water Features


I was not cold the first time I almost drowned
I was warm
I was warm
I was so warm
And the lake swallowed me in as an old friend
as I sank into her
“It’s been a long, long, long time”
“This is what it feels like to stop breathing”


cartographies —
making stained glass out of paper
cutting faces and lilies into maps
three lines to show elevation
an open P-L-A-N-E for a P-L-A-I-N

a scene in fragmented miniature
the Madonna breastfeeding (one plane for the breast, two with a nipple)
a chubby conglomerate of small round segments
as she, flanked by bored lecturers
ascends to the roof of the tower
where there is not actually a helipad.

A Tree Does Not Lie (Probably)


at the back
shaped like
a cleft of alien skin
gossamer remains
where spiders built
their summer homes
now torn
and filling with dead leaves

                             (hand inside
                              silk line
                              tap tap
she is dead or sleeping)


orange hedge
a plastic scrap
garbage hanging
limp over a branch
“This Pepsi contains 0 calories”
or something else draped
in flag’s colours

                                one feather
                                pigeon coloured
                                memory of the bull pigeons
                                Elizabethan necks
                                now gone
                                hiding from so many trampling feet)

scattered over
soggy ground
a dotted line of white
like bones leading

                              pale leaves
                             broken mushrooms
                             split down the middle
                             by a footprint

                            cover back up
                            for modesty)


in beak
bird carries
back to nest
a large round thing
                          (caught wandering)
a snail, maybe
forgot to stay

Round Time

Stream Through Campus (partly)

@ A back of A Gas

Research Centre
in a Holywell Woods

(on a univers(e)
it(t)y town’s shade-tinged

rim of flickering histories)

a stream’s
wet thesis (will)



at a stream’s rising
a naked shape gives

& takes steps (is

(in a flash
-glimpse (in

a gap

between branches (seen

by an uplooking laid
low creaturely

eye))) a

dark letter X against sky)

a shape startled
a shape shifted

from undergrowth so

trembling fracture’s
a shape’s spell
at a stream’s
westerly beginnings

a shape’s dirt-smudge-steps
enter a ropey
trail see-through & murky
wet’s twine of stained cords all

wriggling liquid chaos

bare feet hurt
in a stream’s flow

feet quiver out wet steps
heading away from west to

follow a stream’s pass
age to gain

an entry easterly
to pass through

a gap in ground

on a rimland campus’s westerly edge
a shape’s steps slosh
as a stream’s clear flesh is

strolled through

a brick is a toad’s fossil instinct
a brick’s emotion is of
course oblong a toe slips

soft fumes of ditch-rot

now death-stench
harsh & sharp
as hot light
in nostrils
yet dark
as bog-sludge

a twinge of ancestry
flicks a shape’s left
Achilles’ tendon

chiffons polythenes
& ripped silks of water wrap

a shapely syllable’s walking

the passiveness of scum
holds other worlds

a culvert swallows a whole
town’s molten silvery windows
gleaming ropes writhe

all that’s
is seen

smooth slick
of slime over pebbles
a shape’s soles press

into an un

seen (sea) bed

jagged broken brick
clots of silt &
dissolved footnotes like

smoke blown through water

a shape’s fingers graze
a blackbird’s drenched dead frame
splayed in the stream
feathers like ink-jelly
needling pricks of fractured bone
plasticky quills of

course discourse
gets stretched

as twiggy sentences dangle strands
of intellecutal algae caught from
floodwaters’ carress

(through a wobbling lens
of a stream’s rippling skin

a shape’s shape
blurrs to a

fuzzy X seen
by a low-lying fish)

weed is a stream’s muscles
rubbing on a streambed’s bones
a drain-grille an organ of un

known grief

anxious at a grille’s mouth
weeds’ wavering green flags of


thee willow once
was a novel exp
loded its leaves
its pages its trail
ing twigs a failed
structure but now

a kingfisher’s bright
blue myth told for
ever in a millionth

of this second

wet earth’s clean-dirt perfume
a shape’s toes press through
mud’s gritty ooze clear
water’s metal tang entwined

with faint
grilled beef burger

students eating
on grass in
sunshine knowledge

a moveable feast’s napkins

a young weeping
willow lets
tendrils scrape wet reflections

a shape

dissolves its letter X steps
through complete & gone

as sleep(’s)