Di Slaney

Nottinghamshire Sheet XXIX N.W.

OS Edition of 1920

Ingar’s Holt

is nothing now; no brushwood,

ash or elm, no marker boundary

to the mor, no bolthole cover

for the son, his father famed

for everything he lacked, no

bracken beds for village girls

too slow to run, no heathered haze

to gravel pit, no quick cut on to

Cockett Barn, no pheasant flush

or rabbit tracelines through the

mud. Nothing left now, none of it.


Wycar Leys

is not the same now; no dairy for the lord,

the kiarr long gone down to the holt, no

byres rousting pigs to troughs higgled with

turnips, no parlour maids smirking secrets

through the cream, pressing tokens into

curds wheyed down for love, no farmhands

clagged with clay dragging their Sunday best

home. Not the same now, in any way.



is nowhere now; no farm of dust

and stones to ire the tithemen used

to fecund work, no bricks or slates

or tiles that propped the granary wall

against the turnip house, no sickly cows

whose milk ran thin and drenched the

empty calf box, no horses lathered with

the toil of dredging hard small gains.

Nowhere but here now, this hostile soil.


Parson’s Pond

is nobody’s tryst now; no rector eking

acres to sweat a shilling, no fishing rights

for enclaved few, no ribald gossip at the

pump, no carpe diem at the open view,

no ginnel out to Stoney Field, no windbreak

there to choke the gusts that barrel through.

Nobody trysts now, or knows how to.

By Di Slaney

Di Slaney WO

Di has a degree in English and European Literature from the University of Warwick, an MA in Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University and has co-owned Candlestick Press since 2010. Her poems have been widely anthologised and published as well as being shortlisted for the Plough Prize and the Bridport Prize, and commended in the McLellan Prize.  Two of her poems won joint first prize in the 2014 Brittle Star Poetry Competition, and her poem ‘Nottinghamshire Sheet XXIX N.W. OS Edition of 1920‘ has recently won the 2015 Four Corners International Poetry Competition. Di’s forthcoming collection ‘Reward for Winter’ (an extract here) will be out with Valley Press early in 2016.

Di Slaney lives with her husband in a Grade II Listed, 400 year old farmhouse in Nottinghamshire with more animals than is sensible – 150 at the last count, most of them rescued.  She runs an Egg Club to raise funds for British Hen Welfare Trust and sells speciality yarn from her small flock of wethers under the name Hooligan Yarns.

She also runs Nottingham marketing agency Diversity which employs 70 people.