Three Poems by Becky Kilsby

Adrift in Paradise

Finally, it’s Tresco – a splash of sparkling
granite in the impossibly green Atlantic.

Crossing the ringing pebbles, our eyes hungry,
hearts tender with loss, we scan the silvered
coast, paddle the Gulf Stream –

You are seeking her (or her) while I’m forgetting him
Yet she is here: a living shade, still quick and holding sway.

Climbing upwards, we gaze out to the open sea
(islands strung glittering to the mainland)
looking for seals, for light and solace. Breathless.

And you are seeking her (or her) while I’m forgetting him
But she is here, a beating shade, still flickering, relentless.

It was here, your place, hers, a white-sand strand
long with longing and still beautiful. We savour
the cool May breeze and talk of then refracting now.

Tresco sands in our pockets – a beach to linger,
to keep for later, to taste and turn around in memory –
yes, we are here, but there pulls us, then tugs us.

And you are seeking her (or her) while I’m forgetting him
But she beats here, prevailing still, between our tingling palms.


Triscombe Song

Walk me down the drover’s road
in blazing sun and rolling mist,
walk me under twisted rows
of golden bronzing beech.

Crisping leaves and laughing crows
shaggy cows and Sunday hikers –
just walk me through this ancient
trail – to Triscombe Stone.

Skip me through this Saxon grove
and up the spiny Quantock ridge –
through blinking sun and damp-grey
fret – to crouching Triscombe Stone.

Walk me through the season’s hush
as fog enbalms the orange fall,
walk me singing back again
along the drover’s road.

We hear the march of Alfred’s men
the clash of Roman swords
faint ticking of the decades
down this gilded drover’s road.

So sing me out and walk me back
from timeless Triscombe Stone.


St. Bueno’s

This coastal path, tipping often into
hair-pin turns, dips through primal
twisted oaks; witnesses life on the edge.

Grey in the dim afternoon, through summer
rain that doesn’t dampen us, the way tends
naturally, to St Bueno’s, crooked in a dark

elbow where stream and footfall imprint
history. Here, Saxon breath and Norman
sinew knit a weave of families in coracle

curve – the clan of Red, grittily supreme;
churchyard memoranda to tenacity. Damp
lichen patina on grave stones tolls lives

in this half light. We hear them, glimpse
their days with our poor resources; this dell
chill even in August, giant rhubarb basking

in its mammoth glory. From the lepers’
window, the mist of centuries is upon us –
fingers twine ours through the gloaming.



As programmer for a prominent Literary Festival in the Middle East, Becky Kilsby has enjoyed the opportunity to create conversations between leading writers from around the world. Coming late to writing poetry, she has had work published in the journal Abridged and in the contemporary poetry collection Signal from Static. A regular poetry blogger, she now works at the University of Exeter in the beautiful English county of Devon.