He wasn’t a poet who woke early
and wrote of distant trains drumming
under a late blooming moon.
He was much fresher than that.
But reading his new poem sure enough
there was the moon banging away
like a breakfast chef in a dining carriage,
and the droning train was the equinox
with a locomotive at each end
so if you caught it in a photo
it could be going either way.

Sound is air moving against itself.
Urban air is work-hardened
by bins slamming in back alleys,
red cranes dropping steel girders,
and the rabble of diesel engines.
Whereas down here the air
is newly annealed by the ocean.
That’s why a train in the country
sounds different to a train in the city,
surely you’ve noticed that?

I said I liked his poem,
it felt like a favourite sweater
on a winter platform.
Perhaps it was one of mine?
But then the chef finished clattering,
my breakfast arrived,
the dining car swayed
and the sun shone bright as an egg.

Selected byNolcha Fox
Image credit:Ankush Minda



Marc Woodward is a poet whose work has been widely published in journals and anthologies, and a musician who has performed and taught internationally.

He has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and commended for the Aesthetica Award and the Acumen prize.

A New Yorker by accident of birth, he has been resident in rural Devon, England for a loooooong time.

Recent collections:

‘Fright of Jays’ published 2015 by Maquette Press;

’Hide Songs’  published 2018 by Green Bottle Press.

’The Tin Lodes’ (co-written with Andy Brown) published 2020 by Indigo Dreams Press.


‘Shaking the Persimmon Tree’ published in 4/2022 by Sea Crow Press.

‘Grace Notes’ a collection of music related poems written in collaboration with Andy Brown is due out from Sea Crow Press in 2023.

He can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/marcwoodwardartist

and on twitter @marcomando or at www.marcwoodwardpoetry.blogspot.com