Sunday Poem – Andrew Forster

Today’s Sunday poem is by Andrew Forster, a good friend of mine.  Andrew is the Literature Officer at the Wordsworth Trust and has his own blog at where you can find more poems and information about what he is up to.

Andrew is definately a force for good in the poetry world – although that sounds like we’re in Star Wars or something!  But he is unfailingly generous to other writers, and always offers very good advice.  He works extremely hard to bring poets to our corner of the world through the contemporary literature program at the Wordsworth Trust, and I suspect his own work is often overlooked because he is so busy promoting the work of others. 

But not today!  I’ve chosen ‘Damselflies’ as the Sunday Poem.  This poem comes from Andrew’s most recent collection ‘Territory’ and is very representative of this second collection, published by Flambard – lots of close observations of landscapes and the natural world.  His first collection ‘Fear of Thunder’ also published by Flambard was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and he has recently published a beautiful pamphlet ‘Digging’ with amazing illustrations by Hugh Bryden, published by Roncodora Press. 

If you would like to order any of these collections, you can go to Andy’s site –

Damselflies – Andrew Forster

They come in from the whispering rain
each time the door or window is opened:
dozens of them, sparks in the scratched dark,
riding the warm air into the kitchen.
Legs crackle with electricity, clumsy
as puppets.  They closet themselves in corners,
clinging to plaster, or follow each other
in a linked chain like a pagan dance
around the hot glow of the lightbulb.

Is this their heaven? Perhaps they dream
of somewhere just like this, from their hatching
by the burn, throughout their month-long lives;
drawn here like salmon, against all odds,
by an innate, mysterious pull.
We leave them in peace.  Later, empty shells
of them will litter the kitchen, brittle
and breaking at a touch, mere signs of something
that passed here, light and elusive as breath. 

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