top of page

2 poems by Anthony Wilson

To My Rain


Like the poet

who asked me at a party

if she should have heard of me

if you need to know what these poems

are about

you aren’t really interested.

Of all the Swiss poets

living in Exeter

I’m the most obsessed

with rain

because when I wake up

each day

the rain’s there

even when it’s not raining.

What more

do you want?

When Peggy Ashcroft said

‘There was a nail’

to explain why her Chagall

hung behind a spare bedroom door –

that’s how I feel

about the rain.


I am falling

pretty much


and in stair-rods.

That I manage this

without crying

is my secret

one that leads to more tears

at a date of my choosing

(I mean, my body’s –

it always knows best).

Apparently, I never make a point

in a meeting

without first touching my face.

I’m touching it now

as I lean over this notebook

a brilliant day in March

(I can’t believe I’m saying this)

with no rain.

If I knew

how to fall


don’t you think

I would have perfected it

by now?

All is Lost (Spoiler Alert)

Robert Redford watches his boat disappear

in the middle of the ocean

certain he is going to die

in the wettest film ever made.

Incredible to think

his specs somehow make it

into the emergency kit

along with stationery.

His opening line (VO, credits) –

‘I’m sorry’ –

what the whole thing

takes to unravel.

Let me save you the time.

In the end a hand

comes down to save him

(third container ship lucky)

but not until after he sets fire

to his life raft

and gives in to the black depths

with a burble.

Choose your own metaphor.

I actually thought he’d bought it

and was happy

(if happy is the right word)

with the decision

much more than The Perfect Storm

which I made the mistake of watching

after I got better

and which

unlike everything else I have loved

I still regret

not reading up on first.


Anthony Wilson’s fifth book of poems is The Afterlife (Worple Press, 2019). He is

also author of Deck Shoes, a collection of essays (Impress Books, 2019).

In 2015 he published Lifesaving Poems (Bloodaxe Books), after his blog of the same

name. He lives and works in Exeter.


bottom of page