“Derwent,” “Sunday” and “November”

“Derwent,” “Sunday” and “November”

“Derwent,” “Sunday” and “November”


The Derwent’s not in any rush. Green surf

Of trees, the rocky crests of peaks now still

Enough to watch their sister wind downhill

And salve exploited wounds of quarried earth.

She hems a patchwork blanket as she goes,

A stone-crossed field’s crumpled edges smoothed

Where verdant hillside’s bashful bow is soothed

And onwards her unflinching water flows.

The river doesn’t notice how the tree

Boughs bend to soften in her waters clear,

How flowers line her banks in reverence,

And as she passes by she hushes me:

My soles sprout roots, my body anchors here.

The trees – my brothers now in deference.


I know that you want something to happen

but I have to warn you that, here, no blood is

spilled, and though there is coffee,

there is no coffee spilled either. There is

no love or loss or he-said-she-said.

No failing marriages. Here

there is only gold; molten and

oozing through the slats in the blind and though

I cannot say there is birdsong, there

is honesty; the softest, kindest

honesty, and where the birds would be

are the sing-song voices of next-door’s

children, making the most of the cool

morning sun before they are called in

for hats and sunscreen.


It’s November so it’s Christmas now

and as we got older we realised

that the lights and the songs

and the carbohydrates

were for coping

When the sun is out we drink it

down like an oasis

Other than these brief intermissions

we keep our hoods up ‘til spring

and hope we don’t fasten

our scarves too tight

About the Author

Emily Marchment

Emily Marchment is a poet, mother and trainee teacher from London, UK. She writes most of her poems in the wee small hours between getting her daughter to sleep and getting the bus to work.

Read more work by Emily Marchment.