Puddocks by John Greening

Photo by David Rickard

for SECH


Clare would have called
these five red kites

circling above dead
or stag’s-headed oaks

like iambs broken from
a line of English pastoral

by a name that signifies
a deed without a name

by a call that only says
and you too soon

as they spin and entertain
us, then our chances


John Greening received a Cholmondeley award in 2008. His latest collections are Heath (Nine Arches, with Penelope Shuttle), To the War Poets (Carcanet), Knot (Worple) and Poetry Masterclass (Greenwich Exchange). His edition of Edmund Blunden appeared from OUP in Spring 2015 along with the classical music anthology Accompanied Voices.