The Bere Peninsula lies at the tidal end of the Tamar Valley, as far west in Devon as it is possible to venture. Made almost an island by the rivers Tamar and Tavy, it is a place of wild beauty and challenging isolation, of hardship and hard work, dynamite-shocked copses and flower‑filled verges.

In these poems of people and place, Ysella Sims charts the routes of belonging in a new home there. In poems that are as sensuous as the water’s lap she maps its woods and waters, abandoned mine shafts and narcissi-lined lanes as she explores the link between internal and external landscape, memory and identity.

We are all on the run

This morning I circled the sloping woodland, its gaping mine shafts, fly-tipped and ivy strangled, the chimney on its perch, rook-claimed and crumbling. And through the bramble the red flash of a dog fox, thundering the hoof-churned field, scarlet-haunted. It had been weeks of rain, everything gone to ground, but today there was blue in the sky, the chase back on. In the lane a pheasant bustled in the hedgerow, rose, screeching, into the open air. 

From you are here by Ysella Sims

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