all is level here


Kay Syrad

grazed fen-swamp.

tussock-edged ditches.

flat water grasses.

this day. one thousand years.


      the five-leaved pondweed

      shining pondweed

      sharp-leaved pondweed.

      water plantains.


black cattle

hooves deep-slipped in mud.


what is rare.


      water violet and bladderwort

      cuckoo flower

      water lilies small as a coin.


light is low, sometimes a thought

of brightening.


      tall reeds, bur reed

      tall fen.

      yellow irises.


      reed bunting, reed warbler

      sedge warbler, cettiā€™s warbler

      yellow wagtail.


will you claim, re-claim this land.

it is temporal. adaptive.


      herbivorous beetle

      great silver water beetle

      diving beetle, red beetle.


so much is rare.


      hairy hawker spider

      fen-raft spider the size of your palm,

      eats fish.

      nursery web spider.


clamour of wind, claim of wind.

levelling, levering.


dredge. mussel shells.



nitrates or phosphates

shining pools

on the marshy grass.


      tench, perch, pike

      rudd need weedy ditches.

      frogs. water shrews.

      harvest mice nesting in the reeds.


all is rare.


      little whirlpool ramshorn snail

      shining ramshorn snail

      large-mouthed valve snail.

      false orb pea mussel.


      yellow loose strife,

      and the yellow loose strife bee

      excites the yellow flower pollen

      takes the oil for its bee-nest.




      hairy dragonfly.

      variable damselfly.

      13-spot ladybird.


forty per cent fewer.

15-20 pairs left.

eighty per cent lower.

two pairs left.


      drowned sheep beneath

      all the floating pennywort.





all is level here

Pevensey Levels


Kay Syrad



Elephant Press 2020