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2 poems by Claire Cox

flood meadow

under a shallow sea

coral and ammonite

flickering blue sunlight

waves warm as blood 

creature on creature

compressed in salt stillness

the weight of ice its rasp and drag

hoof and forest leathered foot. green wheat

a spring that seeps deep-fissure cool

May Days’ tossed charms

babbled prayers for love

and harvest gunshot

wires across the sky 

silverweed and nettle

a circle of burned willow

under the jet plane’s roar 

this thistle this dock leaf 

this white butterfly

this wolf spider. scuttling 


Human chains of green and orange slither

over the coated rocks, scoop up

the thickened sea. Eyes stinging,

they pass it bucket by bucket, hand

to hand to hand, coax it like dough

into plastic barrels. Elongating facts

form long slicks – there is no

impact on marine flora and fauna – 

the fish is fit for consumption

crabs feed on sunken tar-balls.

The fishing nets gum up. Refused

entry to the port, the ship is listing –

her hull gapes open like a rusty gill.


Born in Hong Kong, Claire is Associate Editor for ignitionpress, and a research student at

Royal Holloway studying poetry and disaster. Her first pamphlet appears in Primers: Volume

Five (Nine Arches Press, 2020).


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