– suggested by local poet Victoria Gatehouse

June has arrived with its promise of warm weather (fingers crossed) and many of us start to think about holidays. I love the sense of movement and sensual detail in this month’s seaside poem and know, from speaking with the author, Bob Horne, that it’s as much about growing up and self-discovery as it is about swimming.


The Raft

That summer I was strong enough

to swim out, haul myself from the water

on to the black wooden boards

as the tide smacked its sides.


From harbour to headland

chalk-cliff to shoreline

summer colour covered the sands,

spilled into the fringes of the sea.


I turned by back on the shallows

busy with the clamour of paddlers,

swayed on the ups and downs of waves

reeling in through grey-green emptiness,


balanced on the raft, still not adrift

but out of my depth, loving it.


Taken from Knowing My Place, published by Calder Valley Press.


Bob Horne founded the ward-winning Calder Valley Press in 2018, publishing books by talented local poets. Bob is also co-organiser of the wonderful ‘Puzzle Poets’ spoken word night at The Navigation pub in Sowerby Bridge.  I’m looking forward to reading there myself on 1st July.  Knowing my Place is Bob’s first collection. More about Bob and Calder Valley Press can be found here https://caldervalleypoetry.com/about/