Glen Wilson


Narrow Water


The Newry river runs between

different shores as explosions

and silence barter for time.

A lorry gnarled into a metal hayrick,

smoulders on the road,

strewn with broken syllables.

Macabre bunting lines the trees,

traces of camouflage and red beads

swing as unripened fruit.

Below the branches, faces

are caught in the summer current,

one able to be lifted whole

like a Halloween mask.

The monster’s skin feels so very human,

real enough to have a name –

Major Peter Fursman.

He is just one name of many

bobbling along in the undertow

with snapped twigs, torn leaves.

As the dead reach for double figures,

the biggest loss, the biggest win

depending on from which bank you watch,

in the distance a boat heads out to sea.






Glen Wilson lives and works in Portadown, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland. He has been widely published, having work in The Honest Ulsterman, The Irish Literary Review, Iota, Southword, and The Incubator Journal, amongst others. In 2014 Glen won the Poetry Space competition and was shortlisted for the Wasafiri New Writing Prize. He was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2016 and shortlisted in the 2016 Wells Festival of Literature. He is currently working towards his first collection of poetry.

Twitter:  @glenhswilson    Email:  glenhswilson@facebook.com