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Website of poet Elizabeth Rimmer


Wherever We Live Now


  • Mixed Messages

    Ochil hills light snow, mist

    We do have snow today, a mere icing sugar sift over the garden, already melting and inclined to slush. More is forecast tonight, and temperatures will drop to -5 (Centigrade – if you are in the US, this is a relatively balmy 25 degrees, but it’s increasingly rare here). But just now it is above freezing, and as I came in from the supermarket, there was a great tit singing as if spring had already been promised.

    The Thaw
    Just two degrees of difference.
    The air softens and dulls, grass blurs.
    The privet heights are quick with sparrow-bustle,
    blackbird hop, wren flit, a new colony
    born in craic and kerfuffle.

    A great tit trapezes birch-stems
    nibbling the catkin sheaths,
    the see-saw strop of ‘teacher, teacher,’
    sharpens the morning, adding fizz
    to spring’s still coolness.

    Ebb-tide is swimming with ducks,
    upended, spinning, suddenly noisy.
    Paired swans, humped leavings of snow,
    melt into the drained river.
    The slick banks slump into silty furrows.

    Damp is gathering with the first drift of rain.
    Earth relaxes ice-bound muscles,
    lets out the sharp sour stink of thaw –
    mud and leaf-mould, and frost-burned grass
    collapsing into wetness, rot, fertility.

    This poem comes from Wherever We Live Now, my first collection which came out in 2011. It is officially out of print, but I do have a few copies here. The same goes for The Territory of Rain, which seems to be getting a bit of attention, because it is the collection that is most landscape based of all my work. This poem featured in The Nature Library’s most recent newsletter.

    A House for Winter

    The sky opens blue windows
    between shutters of grey cloud.
    Winter peers in.

    Brittle sunshine slants
    between skeletonised trees,
    thin relict leaves at twig tips.

    A breath of frost melts
    on the cold frame, split curls
    of seedpods glued to the glass.

    The dark glassy river is choked
    with panes of broken ice,
    curdled with falls of new snow.

    The warm pigeon-feathered hollow
    between railway bridge and river,
    is a pot a-bubble with soft coos.

    A white snow-mist climbs
    the black walls of the hill.
    Winter settles in.

    I am getting mixed messages from the weather today, as in so much else!


  • Older Books

    book cover
    Wherever We Live Now 2011
    book cover
    The Territory of Rain 2015
    book cover
    Signs of the Times 2017

    All of these books have reached the point where the publisher no longer holds any copies. However, I still have some, so if you want them you can still get them from me via the shop. (You can find poems from them on my poetry page, if you would like to try a sampler.) Wherever We Live Now and The Territory of Rain are still on the database at shops like Waterstones and Foyles, but any requests would still have to come to me, so why not approach me directly, and get signed copies? I don’t charge for postage and packing within the UK, and though the shop runs on PayPal, I can accept other methods of payment if you email me via the contact form.

    You can still get Haggards from the new Red Squirrel Press website.



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