Tag Archives | Nigel Fox


Brother, I, am the only memory that holds you now. And I hold you. Daily, everly, evergreenly, like the pines that named the cottage, pine, and its other meaning. I do hold you.

Brother, where did you go? Your heat, and your existing? Was it dissipated in a moment – absorbed – your leaving simply merging with trees and soil and stars and a hare’s breath on an April moorland?

Here. You are here. Ever here – in here. When all I have to hold for any, is a monochrome of a boy. A boy. I hold you.

And brother, what material we shared, I passed, and in other lives, a part of you will carry on when I stop remembering.

And then it will be settled, like a coloured strata, fixed. We shall be a stripe in rock – our matter, for all it matters, trapped with other stuff, for geologists, or perpetuity of a kind.

Brother, you gave me a flame in our last together – a flame like an Olympic torch or wax taper – tapering off to flickering dreamlands.

Brother, fox or hare, only half believing in your leaving, I do hold you.

All That Was


A time to stop counting

i.m. Nigel Fox – 1956 – 1969

There he is, running –
chipped red Dinky toy fast
in palm – he’s spinning, giddy
in carousel sunshine, freckling
him over in shadows of linden.

Resounding a toll on this avenue of flints –
he’s running, yet gliding, silent on thermals,
absorbed in a kind of childhood nirvana,
he’s passing the caution ‘Beware of Adders’
where a chestnut colt snorts in its paddock –
springs like a clay pigeon fleeing its trap.

Between the archives of home and school –
safe now preserved in curtailed youth
is the certainty of sticklebacks rushing the weir,
or wind brushing oceans of green barley feathers.

Memory: rings laid deep at the linden’s heart,
a potential of fire in the dark core of flint –
it’s turning to view the path once travelled,
hand shielding sight in benign setting rays
and knowing what’s causing gangling colts
to bolt from the gate for apparently nothing.

© Caroline Fox Betts 2010