Monthly Archives: October 2019

Road Closed – by Steve Walter

A companion poem by Steve Walter to his A26 which appeared on the website last week. Both poems appeared in the Kent & Sussex Poetry Society’s Folio #73, published in 2019.

Road Closed

They’re rolling out a river of pitted night.
He knew this – the changing surfaces,
exactly how sun-rain-snow-ice, juggernauts,

cause an imperfect skin to split, fissure, crumble.
He specified bitumen, oil-blackened aggregate,
to lay low and level, thin like pastry,

judged to the millimetre, fractions of an inch.
In the morning, the heady scent of an antiseptic balm
binding grit, soothing injury, the road’s wounds,

an accumulated ledger of pain, a night time of layering.
River patterned precisely with white and yellow,
decorative icing, bonded gravel pressed

into the even dressing…ink draining from his hand.
You will not find a pothole now,
on London Road – the highway healed.


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Sasha Dugdale

Poet, playwright, and translator Sasha Dugdale was born in Sussex, England. She has worked as a consultant for theatre companies in addition to writing her own plays. From 1995 to 2000, she worked for the British Council in Russia. She is author of the poetry collections The Estate (2007), Notebook (2003), and Red House (2011) and has translated Russian poetry and drama, including Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard.  Sasha Dugdale’s ‘Joy’ contains the title-piece of her fourth collection from Carcanet , which won the 2016 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.

On November 19 we will be welcoming Sasha Dugdale to the Vittle and Swig.  Please join us!  There will be an Open Mic before the main reading so come along for an 8 o’clock start with your poem for us all to hear.

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By Steve Walter

This is one of the Kent & Sussex Poetry Society members’ poems published in the 2019 Folio (#73)


They’re resurfacing the road at midnight –

a young worker cleans his blackened


torso, naked from belly to neck in August heat,

nothing more alien to flesh than tar –


oil, slippery as a lover’s skin.



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