The making of gritstone – Julian Dobson

The making of gritstone

What is this rock but sand? Stuff
that escapes from fingers, is only held
in handfuls. See it shift as slow tides
wash and swish through centuries.

Get a grip. You try. Wet, it clods, then
crumbles. Dry, it runs as water.
Leave it be. Let it rest, let weight
of earth compress it. Wait.

Return. Inland, it rises, scarps, nudges
you to edges. A place to stand. Its surface
clings your palms, your toes, your elbows
feel its friction. Find a fold, a kink,

a space to claw at. The certainty
of weathered sediment, of patience.
Trust the way it scours and scores
the skin: your hold, your faith, your rock.


Julian Dobson lives in Sheffield. His poems have appeared in publications including Magma, Under the Radar, and Acumen, and on a bus in Guernsey.

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