Light seeps into the estuary.
The river’s edge is blurred.
Air, at dew point, cadaver cold.
A mercury tide, floods.
Onto the silver slack’s mud-flats
a ripple slaps, a slow pulse.
No gibbet now in the tideway.
No corpse hangs, a warning to all,
make no change, make no challenge.
The horizon ignites; blood-red.
Black, on the pylon’s scaffold,
twelve Herons stand like stone.
Hump-backed and brooding.
As dark as Jobling’s judge.
As pitiless as priests.
A former nurse, Tom was a ‘late starter’ in writing and is trying to make up lost time. He has had articles published in journals, written a prize winning short radio script for BBC Newcastle and was a prize winner in last year’s New Writing North Crime Short Story competition. He has had several poems published in Orbis and has just completed an MA in creative writing at Newcastle University.