Dan Ryder


Researching Visingsö


Not yet beyond the dead
-locked humdrum
from this molten monitor,

you long to discover how
this isle was conjured
by the grant of a giant’s
hand to her last lover

myriad millennia ago.


You read how a man
from a neighboring
fishing village failed
in an attempt to reach
the North Pole in just
a balloon filled with
sandwiches & hot air.


Tiredness pervades
imagining sailors planting
acorns to harvest timber
for next century’s warships.


Words shed meaning
like an old worlds pelt:
murdered kings
astronomers observatories
juniper bushes
purple orchids
marble quarry
limestone cliffs
a lighthouse.


The bedside lamp flickers
with futility at the diminishing
battery bar—church bells toll

six chimes against the shut
window—until the only sound
is the quiet climb & collapse
of your sleeping breath

greeting the half-risen sun.



Dan Ryder is a poet from South Yorkshire and soon to be graduate of the Manchester Writing School. Last year he lived in Melbourne and was a poetry editor for Voiceworks. His most recent work was published in Tincture. He tweets @danryder. ‘Researching Visingsö’ was written after reading Don Paterson’s poem ‘Sunset, Visingsö’.