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Obviously, that floppelling water.
Probably too, an electronic whinge

underpinning the sharp-textured intent
of foraging trips by birds. But not this.

Of course, there would be pheasant,
raucously throaty, as pattered-down mud
raised morning scents. You knew well enough
to duck the fishing rope knotted to a branch.


But, when you touched the peeled-back bark,
rubbed beyond the charcoal marks, the elm
wasn't smooth, but sandpaper strange.
And the nettle's goodbye gave no sting.

Beth McDonough's poetry is widely anthologised and published. She reviews for DURA and elsewhere. Her first solo pamphlet Lamping for pickled fish is published by 4Word. Her site-specific poem has just been installed on the Corbenic Poetry Path. She is currently Makar of the Federation of Writers (Scotland).

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