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Slush, a poem by Alan Buckley

  • Date: 21 December 2009
  • Area: South East
Alan Buckley

Alan Buckley. Credit: Photo: Chloe Barter

Originally from Merseyside, Alan Buckley moved to Oxford in the eighties to study English Literature and has lived there ever since. His debut pamphlet Shiver, published by tall-lighthouse in April 2009, was the Poetry Book Society's Summer Pamphlet Choice, and he was a runner-up in this year's Bridport Prize.

In 2006-2007 he was one of two poets in residence at HMP Grendon, running a live literature programme supported by Arts Council England. He has recently received an Arts Council grant to fund paid writing time and mentoring by the poet Paul Farley, and is working towards completing a manuscript for a first full collection.


The furthest reach of snow was once well south

of the city, but there's been a steady creeping back

over the years, so now it's a decade or more

since the last deep fall, that hushed the streets

and kept the children at home. A brief flurry or two


sometime in January; but you have to drive

a good way north to find enough for sledging,

a snowball fight. One evening two winters ago

I could sense the air brimming with it, and when

I pulled open the curtains the next morning


I was a kid again, wide-eyed at that overnight trick -

the world re-made, uniform, and waiting for my feet

to make their scuffling mark. But the melt had started:

the main road nearby was grey with slush, the cars

flowing easily, and I knew it was already too late. 


Alan Buckley