After ‘Junk’ by Richard Wilbur


The brook burbles its way      down over boulders

and gushes against       great rocks to cascade

and splash into the still       pool where spray

benefits a low bank       of bluebells and cowslips.

It is picture-book pretty,       a place to appreciate

our gorgeous earth,       to be grounded and grateful.

But Sparrow’s at my shoulder      saying look below,

between molecules of clear water       are minute beads we make

of plastic and petroleum       and I know that under pebbles

and sand will be cellophane       and shattered picnic

plates, crisp packets       and playthings left behind

or discarded; if it drops       to the depth of diamonds

the hardening heat       won’t help, won’t heal,

there’ll be no gems,       no glitter from this garbage.

from Terminarchy by Angela France (Nine Arches Press, 2021)

© Angela France
With kind permission from Nine Arches Press

Terminarchy by Angela France
(Nine Arches Press, 2021)

Angela France

Angela France has had poems published in many of the leading journals and has been anthologised a number of times. Her publications include Occupation (Ragged Raven Press, 2009), Lessons in Mallemaroking (Nine Arches Press, 2011), Hide (Nine Arches Press 2013) and The Hill(Nine Arches Press 2017). The Hill has been developed into a live multi-media poetry show which Angela has been touring, funded by Arts Council England. Angela teaches creative writing at the University of Gloucestershire and in various community settings. She runs a reading series in Cheltenham, ‘Buzzwords’.