The Learned Pig

Art – Thinking – Nature – Writing

Sam Wilson Fletcher

Toast to the Spring / waveformed


Toast to the Spring


Black fangs to the east, badlands to the west,

the world beyond — glaciers, jungles, dunes and meadows —

and home, the garden and the spinney.

Lemon seed, a splash of you. A toast.

A thousand years in limestone prison.

A minute in the sunshine, drowned in the ocean.

Burning bodies, old men pray.


The Learned Pig




a wave   halfbroken      frozen

smashed      egg to egg      blunt

knifeedge      girder      bare legs

ankle skin   blue vessels      bone

rock      hand in crack      make fist

boot in crack   twist      pull on

next boot      next fist      slap to lip

swimming pool exit      lip to hip

lock elbows   left boot by left hand

rock over      stand      headland

to headland      sea      greygreen

corrugated      eggs in froth   black weed

huge blocks   housesized      downclimb

cave      tapered to black      red eggs in roof

like scalped heads      stickywet      on hands

and knees      shells   cuttlebone      gas can

buckled   barnacled      stuck length

of frayed rope      anemones      syrup

cherries      egg to egg      to cliff

rock gully      crumbly      chimney

back wedged   knees to chest

palms push   shoulders shrug

inch up      the top   thin soil

clumped grass      nothing firm to grab

elbow over lip      shoulder      turn on chest

worm on belly   seal      leg up

dig boot tip in soil   stand      breathe

sea      bluegrey   flecked

headland to headland      cove

to cove to cove      waveformed



Image credit: Sam Wilson Fletcher, Untitled, backlit watercolour on paper, 2019

This is part of RHYTHM, a section of The Learned Pig devoted to exploring rhythm as individual and collective, as poetic and biological, and the ways that rhythm dictates life. RHYTHM is conceived and edited by Rachel Goldblatt.



The Learned Pig