In the wake of our short season of ‘changing home’ poems as selected by Clive Birnie, we’re making the executive decision to feature just a handful more poems that were mentioned honourably in dispatches! Here are two from Hull-based poet, author and publisher Tracey Scott-Townsend, which contrast living in a van with the lure of bricks-and-mortar.
When we parked the van it was beside salt marshes.
Later, on our return, the sea had flowed onto the land,
Obscuring ditched slices of green.
Where before, sheep had grazed,
Restless water now raced so close to our van it appeared, from the window
That we were on a boat.
As darkness fell I knelt with my arms on the sill,
Fixated on the rushing tide.
The dogs dozed on the bench beside me,
While gentle snores rose from the bed behind.
History’s croft lines are visible on the peninsular opposite
The wind whips our hair and roars in our ears.
We stand on tarmac, observing
The white-painted house that tries to
Own the space around.
But I’m still drawn to the old ways,
I prefer the cottage in its acre of land,
With its self-portrait from way back when on the internal wall
That used to be the end of the house
And once drank up the sun in the garden.
Tracey is the author of four novels, which have been described as both poetic and painterly. As a poet and a visual artist, her her work is inspired by the emotions of her own experiences and perceptions. She has performed her spoken word pieces at various open mics, Hull Freedom Festival Poetry stage (2017) and at Apples and Snakes’ Deranged Poetesses event in March 2018.
She is the mother of four grown-up children and now spends a lot of time travelling in a small camper van with husband Phil and their rescue dogs, Pixie and Luna, gathering her thoughts and
writing them down.