Write me a few of your lines

Chris Hardy

Chris Hardy is a prize-winning poet and experienced folk-blues guitarist, song writer and member of Little Machine, a group who set classical and contemporary poetry to music. They have played frequently with Carol Anne Duffy, Liz Lochead and Gillian Clarke at their readings.

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Chris has travelled widely and now lives in London. His poems have been published in Acumen, Agenda, Stand; Pennine Platform; Tears in the Fence; The Interpreter's House; The North; The Rialto; Poetry Salzburg Review; Poetry Review, ink sweat and tears, the blue nib, the compass magazine and many other places.

He is in LiTTLe MACHiNe, performing their settings of poems at literary events in the UK and abroad. 'The most brilliant music and poetry band in the world' (Carol Ann Duffy).

His fourth collection, Sunshine At The End Of The World, was published in 2017 by Indigo Dreams. Roger McGough said about the book, 'A poet as well as a guitarist Chris consistently hits the right note, never hits a false note' and Peter Kennedy, in London Grip says, 'Chris writes vivid, expository poetry often heavy with portent and mystery. Each of these poems is as beautifully muscular and slippery as an eel'.

Map Reading

We get lost by the harbour.
The directions are wrong
but we follow them anyway.

The road runs along the shore,
at dusk hulks lean in the rocks,
gas plumes burn from iron heads.

Behind us the moon steps left
or hides between towers lit
like upright dominoes.

Though the map says something must appear
the dials say something must run out.
We cross an upland plain in half a night

and stop before a wall of shining glass.
Inside four men sit before a screen
watching their side lose.

One sings loudly into another's ear
as if insisting on a point
or inviting a blow.

From our room the castle on the peak
glows in the moonlight.
For years the Franks made it their home,

where they kept their water to themselves.
We have a brief option on this space,
our names are in the book,

bolts slide in the dark,
we know why we are here,
our map is on the table.

An Audience of Clouds

The sea dabs its fin
against the shore,
green and blue and flat
across the bay.
Along the horizon

the water darkens,
where the world's edge
falls away,
where the round sea
cups the world.

Ten small birds fly
from a yellow cliff and speed
left to right above the surface,
changing position within the group
but rushing on together

as if within
an invisible net
towards the bleached grey ruins
of the basilica,
and vanish.

Everything begins to be the same
An audience of clouds remains
silent in its huge
white balcony.

© 2012 Chris Hardy

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Graft Poetry
Frizingley Hall
Frizinghall Road
+44 (0)1274 541015