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  Tom Pickard
Tom Pickard
Poet and photographer Tom Pickard's first book of poems, High on The Walls, appeared in 1968 from Fulcrum Press. His latest, Ballad of Jamie Allan, published by Flood Editions in 2008, was a finalist in the National Book Critics Circle awards. In 1970 City Lights published Guttersnipe and in 2011 Pressed Wafer published More Pricks Than Prizes, both part memoirs. He also documented northern working-class culture/history in books, on radio and in TV documentaries. He has worked with musicians, including John Harle, for whom he wrote the libretto Ballad of Jamie Allan, and more recently the words for Harle's City Solstice, a piece for saxophone and the Choir of King's College, Cambridge. He is currently collaborating with the singer-songwriter Ben Murray on his interpretation of Ballad of Jamie Allan with song, field recordings, and poems from the book. Pickard has been banned from the North Sea, the Newcastle Festival, and HM Prisons, amongst other places. He now lives in the North Pennine Hills near the border with Scotland and makes recordings of winds on Fiends Fell while walking and watching cloud shadows on distant hills.

from Lark & Merlin



Tom Pickard
it has gone on for days

strumming rushes
taking up tales,
taking them on

the fall of my foot,
on tufts

a stroke of light along a law lain in under a long cloud

I accrete—lichen to limestone
sphagnum to peat

* * *

late shadows gather in the dark

words unwrite
as they are written
unspeak
as they are spoken

songs sprung
from heart and lung
to tongue

unsung


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