Barleyfield Wind

Midsummer wind,
thought across the mind:

a running hare,
invisible, a hare-shape –
gone – leaving the field motionless, supple,
greeny yellow. Ripple,
current, eddies,
whirlpool, a pattern created
and in one movement unmade . . .
Quiet then quick,
a country undiscovered, mapped, unknown.
It is all imagination:
pooling – running – streaming – a long, slow surge.
Then, barely a touch,
the whiskered heads
brushed by a breath.
And all the time,
burnishing every grain,
the sun brings to fruition:
a dry, brittle gold.

by Jeremy Hooker

The deadline for submissions to the Poetry Centre’s International Poetry Prize is 31 August. There are two categories: Open and English as a Second Language, and First Prize in each category is £1000. The competition will be judged by Bernard O’Donoghue and Hannah Lowe, and you can enter by visiting this page. Please do pass on details to friends and colleagues.

Local poets may be interested to learn that Back Room Poets in Oxford are offering a masterclass with George Szirtes on the afternoon of August 15th at the Friends Meeting House. If you are interested in submitting a poem which George Szirtes might discuss, please contact for more details.

Please note that the Weekly Poem will be taking a month’s break. We’ll be back in early September.

‘Barleyfield Wind’ is copyright © Jeremy Hooker, 2015. It is reprinted from Scattered Light (Enitharmon Press, 2015) by permission of Enitharmon Press. Notes from Enitharmon Press:

Jeremy Hooker’s new collection, Scattered Light, shows him producing some of his finest work – a variety of short, ‘light’ poems, longer poems, and sequences such as ‘Saltgrass Lane’ and ‘Hurst Castle’ which revisit his childhood terrain on the Hampshire coastline. The poems show him extending his thinking about powerful crosscurrents that constitute the ‘sacred’, and deepening his exploration of history embodied in landscape. You can read more about the collection on the Enitharmon website.

Jeremy Hooker was born in 1941. Poet, critic, teacher and broadcaster, he is currently Professor of English at the University of Glamorgan. He has published ten collections of poetry. His other books include Imagining Wales: a View of Modern Welsh Writing in English, and studies of David Jones and John Cowper Powys. He has edited writings by Alun Lewis, Frances Bellerby, Richard Jefferies, and Wilfred Owen. Gillian Clarke has described his work as ‘a deceptively readable poetry that leaves phrases and images in the mind as the best poems should’, whilst Poetry Review called it ‘original and very ambitious’. Follow Jeremy’s work on his website, and hear him read from his poems on the Poetry Archive.

‘William Blake dreamed up the original Enitharmon as one of his inspiriting, good, female daemons, and his own spirit as a poet-artist, printer-publisher still lives in the press which bears the name of his creation. Enitharmon is a rare and wonderful phenomenon, a press where books are shaped into artefacts of lovely handiwork as well as communicators of words and worlds. The writers and the artists published here over the last forty-five years represent a truly historic gathering of individuals with an original vision and an original voice, but the energy is not retrospective: it is growing and new ideas enrich the list year by year. Like an ecologist who manages to restock the meadows with a nearly vanished species of wild flower or brings a rare pair of birds back to found a colony, this publisher has dedicatedly and brilliantly made a success of that sharply endangered species, the independent press.’ (Marina Warner.)  You can sign up to the mailing list on the Enitharmon site to receive a newsletter with special offers, details of readings & events and new titles and Enitharmon’s Poem of the Month. You can also find Enitharmon on Facebook

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