This Old Bank Of Sand is a weekly poem feed. Add your email address to the Follow by Email link on the right and you will receive one poem a week (usually on Monday morning). If you have suggestions for poems or poets, or any other suggestions, please use the comments facility at the bottom of each poem (public), or email them to (private). To leave a public comment, click on the word comments which you can find just below each poem.

Thursday, June 7, 2018


Calmly we walk through this April’s day,
Metropolitan poetry here and there,
In the park sit pauper and rentier,
The screaming children, the motor-car
Fugitive about us, running away,
Between the worker and the millionaire
Number provides all distances,
It is Nineteen Thirty-Seven now,
Many great dears are taken away,
What will become of you and me
(This is the school in which we learn ...)
Besides the photo and the memory?
(... that time is the fire in which we burn.)

(This is the school in which we learn ...)
What is the self amid this blaze?
What am I now that I was then
Which I shall suffer and act again,
The theodicy I wrote in my high school days
Restored all life from infancy,
The children shouting are bright as they run
(This is the school in which they learn ...)
Ravished entirely in their passing play!
(... that time is the fire in which they burn.)

Avid its rush, that reeling blaze!
Where is my father and Eleanor?
Not where are they now, dead seven years,
But what they were then?
No more? No more?
From Nineteen-Fourteen to the present day,
Bert Spira and Rhoda consume, consume
Not where they are now (where are they now?)
But what they were then, both beautiful;

Each minute bursts in the burning room,
The great globe reels in the solar fire,
Spinning the trivial and unique away.
(How all things flash! How all things flare!)
What am I now that I was then?
May memory restore again and again
The smallest color of the smallest day:
Time is the school in which we learn,
Time is the fire in which we burn.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer break

This Old Bank of Sand is going on holiday and will be back after the summer.

After Rain by Edward Thomas

The rain of a night and a day and a night
Stops at the light
Of this pale choked day. The peering sun
Sees what has been done.
The road under the trees has a border new
of purple hue
Inside the border of bright thin grass:
For all that has
Been left by November of leaves is torn
From hazel and thorn
And the greater trees. Throughout the copse
No dead leaf drops
On grey grass, green moss, burnt-orange fern,
At the wind's return:
The leaflets out of the ash-tree shed
Are thinly spread
In the road, like little black fish, inlaid,
As if they played.
What hangs from the myriad branches down there
So hard and bare
Is twelve yellow apples lovely to see
On one crab-tree.
And on each twig of every tree in the dell
Crystals both dark and bright of the the rain
That begins again.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A COMPANY OF FRIENDS by Elizabeth Jennings

We were all friends that night and sitting round
A lateish dinner. Candles lit us and
Shyness disappeared. Some golden ground
Surely held us. We could understand
Love's mishaps, teenage children and the sound
Of their troubles. Here,
Close to a river and a city where
Learning's been current long, you could accept
Its implications. Last night we could share
The worth of art and promises well kept
Until that hour. Here was a world of care
And I think we all slept
Better for our words of joy and grief.
We ate, we drank, ideas seemed to come
So easily. Here was abundant life
And grace shone like a happy coming home.
We did not notice that the time was brief
As every candle flame.
We gave time back to one another as
We shook warm hands and called a clear Good Night.
Now it's last night's tomorrow and I pass
That feast like film before my eyes and light
My long room with that silver and that glass
And glory in the sight.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

ON TIME FOR ONCE by Brian Patten

I was sitting thinking of our future
And of how friendship had overcome
So many nights bloated with pain;
I was sitting in a room that looked out on to a garden
And a stillness filled me,
Bitterness drifted from me,
I was as near paradise as I am likely to get again.
I was sitting thinking of the chaos
We had caused in one another
And was amazed we had survived it.
I was thinking of our future
And of what we would do together,
And where we would go and of how,
When night came, burying me bit by bit,
And you entered the room,
Trembling, solemn-faced,
On time for once.

For more Brian Patten go to

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Bridge by Edward Thomas

I have come a long way to-day:
On a strange bridge alone,
Remembering friends, old friends,
I rest, without smile or moan,
As they remember me without smile or moan.

All are behind, the kind
And the unkind too, no more
To-night than a dream. The stream
Runs softly yet drowns the Past,
The dark-lit stream has drowned the Future and the Past.

No traveller has rest more blest
Than this moment brief between
Two lives, when the Night's first lights
And shades hide what has never been,
Things goodlier, lovelier, dearer, than will be or have been.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Jodrell Bank by Patric Dickinson

Who were they, what lonely men
Imposed on the fact of night
The fiction of constellations
And made commensurable
The distances between
Themselves, their loves, and their doubt
Of governments and nations?
Who made the dark stable

When the light was not? Now
We receive the blind codes
Of spaces beyond the span
Of our myths, and a long dead star
May only echo how
There are no loves nor gods
Men can invent to explain
How lonely all men are.