Some say there are 37 possible plots in literature,
others reckon on seven, or perhaps only six.
So when I sit to write a poem which leapt out
as I was driving or washing up
that couldn't wait to be committed to page or screen
I wonder what more I could be adding
to a world which already knows it all.

Do we need another poem about nature,
how tides turn endlessly, how the seasons churn?
What can be written about love that we haven't read before
on centuries of pages, light years on screen?

Who cares about the contents of a dead old lady’s house
from the point of view of a child who loved her?
Will anyone mind if a summer five decades cold is rekindled?

I begin anyway, dance fingers across my phone.
After all, no-one has ever stood in precisely this spot of the beach
holding this exact piece of seaglass so that it catches the light
and they never will again. Someone should know how pretty it looked.

by Ben Banyard

Ben Banyard lives in Portishead, on the Severn Estuary just outside Bristol. His third collection, Hi-Viz, was published by Yaffle Press in 2021 and is available from his website at Ben also edits Black Nore Review: