A poem by Chris Powici

As I mentioned in my previous post, this poem is intended as a companion piece to Helen Lamb’s poem ‘Spell of the bridge’. Chris Powici, Helen’s partner, lives in Dunblane and is a poet, writer and creative writing tutor / Teaching Fellow at Stirling University. His most recent collection is the lapidary This Weight of Light from Red Squirrel Press. For more information on Chris, check out this fascinating interview with Kirsty Gunn. He is at work on a new pamphlet collection. This poem, an elegy, needs no more introduction but it’s worth pointing out that it originally appeared online at The Grantidote.



i.m. Helen Lamb


These things are happening now:


an April wind

rook nests swaying in the trees like dark bells

the thought of her, in the garden, watching.


Ferns tremble by the shed door.

Last night’s rain drips from the firethorn leaves.


All this brilliant shock of world

and the thought of her watching.


Everything now.

A poem by Helen Lamb

Today’s poem is one of my favourites by Helen Lamb (1956-2017), the Dunblane poet, short-story writer, novelist and creative writing tutor. It’s something of a poignant pleasure to host this lyrical poem, having known Helen in the last years of her life. Shortly before she died, Helen completed the manuscript of her novel Three Kinds of Kissing which is ideal quarantine reading in that it completely takes your mind off other things and into Helen’s world. I’m republishing this poem here with the permission of her partner Chris Powici. I also have a poem by Chris, an elegy for Helen, to follow.


Spell of the bridge


Hold the wish on your tongue
As you cross
What the bridge cannot hear
Cannot fall


For the river would carry
Your hopes to the sea
To the net of a stranger
To the silt bed of dreams


Hold the wish on your tongue
As you cross
And on the far side
Let the wish go first