by Jonathan Taylor

The house is flake-full of rows:

you shake it and they snowstorm
over heel-riven floorboards;

you hear in door-slam cracks
seashell roars and cries

of icy rollers and breakers,
retractions rasping shingle.

Send in carpenters, carpenters,
and hope for neap, not spring, tides.

SOURCE: Previously published as “Moving” and shortlisted for the Fermoy International Poetry competition (2012).

IMAGE: Repairing a roof shingle.


Jonathan Taylor
is an author, editor, lecturer and critic. His books include the novels Melissa (Salt, 2015), and Entertaining Strangers (Salt, 2012), and the poetry collection Musicolepsy (Shoestring, 2013). He is Senior Lecturer at the University of Leicester in the UK. He lives in Leicestershire with his wife, the poet Maria Taylor, and their twin daughters, Miranda and Rosalind. When the twins were two years old, they all moved house – only to find the new house had been vandalised by the previous owners before they left. This poem is about that move, and the ways in which the previous owners, who were divorcing, had marked the house with a turbulent history. Jonathan’s website is