Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2021: For Sale

The signpost lifts me above a mire I do not own,

blued hope and rusted dreams, poor things, but my own.


Desire washes me clean of this hoar-frost,

for a bracken-patched parcel of land I long to own.


My breath rises to match the slumbering mountain,

a winged ache to escape into a view, my heart’s own.


Unable to buy or borrow castles in the air,

my wish uncurls as I sleep to wake on its own.


I pay to rebuild my life’s shieling, breaking apart

among golden ferns with faults all my own.


Dust-tired as shingle too far from the loch-side,

I am spent thin on others. A truth I cannot disown.


The roof is collapsing. I can offer no support,

rattling empty in a full house, without time on my own.


An echo over water carries my name, without question

or anchor holding me still, coming into its own.


A love in the leaving, treading those three

mossy syllables, Alba, waiting to call it my own.


My life is mortgaged. The dreams in my pocket

are loose change and that is all the estate I own.

Poem recorded as part of Poetry Archive Now: Wordview 2021. Used by permission of author.

Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2021 Winners

Poetry Archive Now! was established in 2020 to enable us to gather recordings from a much wider pool of talented poets from the UK and ...

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Gerry Stewart

Gerry Stewart is a poet, creative writing tutor and editor based in Finland. Her poetry collection Post-Holiday Blues was published by Flambard Press, UK. Her poetry has been widely published in the UK and US since 1998. Her writing blog can be found at http://thistlewren.blogspot.fi/ and @grimalkingerry on Twitter.


A special thank you to our WordView 2021 poets.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Imtiaz Dharker, says: "An idea that began as a response to the world shutting down has, joyfully, become a way to invite the whole world in. It has been exciting to see the entries come in from different countries, from marginalised voices, from people of all backgrounds who now know this space belongs to them. My fellow judges and I were struck by the immediacy of experience and commitment to language in the winning entries. It's also good to think that the rest of the entries will continue to be seen as an invaluable record of our times."

See the collectionWatch the full Wordview 2021 playlist