Angela France: Two poems

Rough Sleeping

Now, in the almost-light of 6 am,
in this field bounded by  bird-full
hedge and scribbles of winter-bare

willow, I could sleep. I lock my knees,
think myself anthracite, carborundum,
let my feet settle into muddy ground

for wind-blown twigs to pile against.
I let my eyes close, my head dip, set
my back against the slow glimmer rising

from the hill’s dark curve. I’ll be stone
while skies circle overhead and birds
forget I ever moved. I could sleep

now, in this field, in the almost-light.


Begin at the cheekend; make it strong,
four-square and sure footed, certain to hold
your lines straight.

Don’t think too much, don’t ask what sort
of stone you need; let your hand roam
over the stack until the right stone finds it.

Let the rhythm guide you, trust the tie-stone
to know the right place, don’t look at the spaces,
or measure them, let your eye see them.

Leave your dressing-hammer in your pocket,
you won’t need it until you walk the length,
hammering pebbles between the coping,
seeing the best stones in the best order.

Copyright © Angela France 2013

Angela France’s latest collection, ‘Hide’, is available from Nine Arches Press at /


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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