It was when it was when it was – by Julie Sampson


Was it when we picked up pebbles under Cheldon bridge
watching stones skip
skim thrice
over water’s swash on the Little Dart?

When it was all three dogs,
Bob, Rex and Scot leap up from sleep
follow me along
criss-crossing lanes
to maunder in the reverie of woods and beside our river,
where when we stop on the rim of French Hill a barking trio echoes
from rill of wood-rill along
to underwater-rill.

It was when,
was it when I stand under ripening fruit late dusk in the orchard,
it’s almost dark and Sirius out, count three stars on Orion’s belt, how
Milky-Way shimmers lily-white
in our almost total zone of black?

When it was, it was time to go,
it was when it was time to let you go.
It was when, was it when?
It was when it was.



Julie Sampson’s poetry has been widely published and placed in several competitions. She edited Mary Lady Chudleigh; Selected Poems (Shearsman Books, 2009). A full collection, Tessitura, was published by Shearsman in 2014 and a non-fiction manuscript, was short-listed for The Impress Prize in 2015. Website here.

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