Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
14 July 2021

The NS Poem: Dear Tor

A new poem by Yvonne Reddick.

By Yvonne Reddick

I’ve been away a year, Tor, I’ve needed your grit, the blink of light
in the fissure at your heart. Tor, those were the months the city shuddered.

Breath was taxed. Air was weaponised. Locks clicked their steel tongues shut,
stayed mute. Goldfinches on the building site. Mushrooms infested the wood  

panels on my balcony. Moss rioted, an underfoot forest; bird’s nest
fern and hart’s tongue by the potted lettuce. Squadrons of flies.  

I need heather-honey air, Tor, I need the rainy breeze as I need water.
Give me your sedimentary, patient endurance. The wind breathing in you, 

the same view down to the valley for millennia; rain laving 
moor-grass feathering your chin, bilberries springing at the corner

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

of your eye. Tor, years stream from your back, you who remember
when this rainlicked upland was estuary, when the Edges
sailed at the equator and land was wave. Tor, give us time.

Yvonne Reddick holds a Leadership Fellowship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Her books include “Ted Hughes: Environmentalist and Ecopoet” (Palgrave Macmillan).

[See also: The NS poem: Flowering currants]

Content from our partners
What you need to know about private markets
Work isn't working: how to boost the nation's health and happiness
The dementia crisis: a call for action

This article appears in the 14 Jul 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Apple vs Facebook