Prac Crit

Katrina Porteous

Katrina Porteous is a freelance poet, historian and broadcaster. She has lived on the Northumberland coast since 1987 and is known for her innovative radio-poetry. Her most recent publication, Two Countries (Bloodaxe Books, 2014), was shortlisted for the Portico Prize.

Durham Cathedral

Imagine it a ruin. / A spot-lit arch. Its towers / Toppled. The river / Kerving a jud / / In the fading light / At the thin end of the year. / Though its countless sockets / Hold a darkness – ours – / / In Elvet, North Bailey, / Cobbled Owengate, / Rising, fugitive / As coal smoke on the breath, / / From knotwork on vellum, / Keel, scroll, laced / Branches or, beneath, / From a blacker seam – / / Hyeven, Hinny, Hyem – / The old words loom, / High, mysterious,...

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Sandylowper

Not so bad to belong / To the deepest strata, / Or to share with the oldest rock / The colour of its armour, / / To burrow in ware-stink / And salty tangle, / Or to sleep in the jewel-box sand / Among its stars and spirals / / Millennia. Not so / Terrible, to fuel / The migration of millions, millions, / Thousands of snowy miles, / / And, billions strong, become / Silica-crystal, feather; / To store in chitin’s curl, / Nerves’ flex and flick, the future. / / A shock, ...

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