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2 poems by Hannah Cooper-Smithson


We crest the hill and there are flowers –

buttercups, daisies, buttercups,

dandelion clocks, clovers,

cowslips and buttercups.

Stitchwort, Mum says.

Stitch-wert, I say.

We sit on the remains of a stone wall,

prop plastic beakers of elderflower cordial

on the handy crags, eat cheese and pickle sandwiches,

packed tightly in tinfoil and Tupperware.

I toss the vine from my cherry tomatoes

into the long grass, into the cow parsley

and buttercups, bluebells, red campion,

ribwort plantain and bluebells, saxifrage,


Contamination, Dad says.

I fish through bluebells, bluebells,

stitchwort and buttercups,

until I reclaim my vine,

string of strange spiders

thick and green and stunted,

coated in vinclozolin, maybe,

or carbendazim, carbendazim and dicofol,

carbendazim, endosulfan and iprodione,

or vinclozolin, vinclozolin.


Once, a vast black clifftop

hung over the bay, its great belly

pregnant with bones and bands

of sand, the spectres of old


A buzzard mewed, and time

and salt compacted it down

into a scoured slip,

brief pip of matter,

little glint,

brought in on the wash.


Hannah is a poet and academic based at Nottingham Trent University. Her work explores what it means to be human in the Anthropocene, and has been published in anthologies and online, including The Interpreter's House, Plumwood Mountain, and becoming-Botanical, a post-modern liber her balis published by Objet-a Creative Studios in May 2019.


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