Edwin Stockdale




Grey Mare’s Tail
Warkworth Castle
January 1463

Goosanders tack from Amble Braid, over
the weir, through the bridge’s twin arches,
round the curve of the Coquet.  Wind scratches
the water’s surface.

On a promontory
girdles of castle.  Beside the curtain wall
the polygonal tower, grey mare’s tail.
The arrowloops on each face rise unbroken
through two storeys.  George looks
out, looks through, looks within.
The castle’s geography:  Carrickfergus
tower, keep, lion tower, little stair
tower, west postern tower, grey mare’s tail
tower, well house, east postern.
In the catacomb of the great tower lies
the chapel.  George, Duke of Clarence, kneels
at the feet of Our Lady, recites his devotions
like his mother taught him.

Blue topaz
beads from his rosary run through his fingers,
a linctus against shadowed days.



Edwin Stockdale has published two poetry pamphlets with Red Squirrel Press: Aventurine (September 2014) and The Glower of the Sun (January 2019). Currently, he is studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at Leeds Trinity University.

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