Undulatus asperatus

Iowa 2006

Once we saw a great cloud, made of ice
like any other cloud but wind-sheared
and drooping in the sinking air.

It lolled against the hill but no storm fell.
Barometers went down like stones and it was
purple dark, even in that early afternoon.

The ruckled sky had us standing pointing
in the fields like scarecrows, and mostly afraid.
Girls fainted under the weight of ions

and some of us made thankful prayers
for God’s new miracle of making of the sky
a rolling sea above our heads.  They say

that waves from underneath are kind
and do not mean us harm, even seem
to love us, and it’s bliss to drown.



Katharine Towers



Katharine Towers was born in London and completed an MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University in 2007. Her first collection, 'The Floating Man', was published by Picador in 2010 and was awarded the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry. It was shortlisted for the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and the Ted Hughes Award and longlisted for The Guardian First Book Award. It was also a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. A poem from the collection appeared as a Poem on the Underground. Katharine lives in the Peak District with her husband and two daughters.