It sits, squat and ugly,
in the centre of you

You let it feed you,

but it sucks more than it gives,

leaving husks.

Is this the thing
that makes the rhythm
that beats through you?

The taste at the back
of your throat? The life
held in your belly?
The skin that joins
and separates?

cut it out


these things spread,
ground elder,
blanket out the light,
uproot messily, painfully,

because they are part of us.

For Day 3 of Jilly’s Unreason theme, poems based on quotations from Jim Harrison’s work. Today’s quotation is:

“I feel my failure intensely
as if it were a vital organ”

~ Harrison
from Vows


and there are a magnificent 7 poets joining Jilly so far. 

5 thoughts on “Regret

  1. the shape of your poem gives extra voice to the toad that squats like Larkin’s ‘work’ but you have turned it into that deep feeling of regret – visceral visuals Sarah and I love these lines:
    “The skin that joins
    and separates?”


  2. Whew! This is so powerful – I had to read it many times just to drink it all in. The analogy of the physical for the meta-physical is cavernous. The image of ground elder is superb!


  3. “these things spread,
    ground elder,
    blanket out the light,
    uproot messily, painfully,”

    I live the spreading ground elder image. Our two poems were on the same wavelength, LOL!


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