‘Dear Sydney Graham’: a poem by Daniel Hinds


Dear Sydney Graham


‘Under your blue hat.’
– W. S. Graham, ‘Dear Bryan Wynter’




My feet wear odd socks today, one of yours,
One of mine, see how well they go together.

Apologies, I’ve come to your funeral late,
Dressed oddly and for a night on the town.




A pint of foaming seawater with Malcolm Mooney,
Lent out, for a short while, to fast from death and form
A lasting impression. Together
We can moon over whatever midnight moonlit furry
Queens and meropian mermaidens have set aside their fish
Tails and crowns to land in this dive and prop up the bar.

Chat them up with old jokes and new famous phrases;
A dead man makes a fine wingman.




Hungover, next morning,
Still hanging on, at the very end of the land,

I go dayfishing.

I go dayfishing, and the ghosts come at night.

And by day I dream

I dream you’ll wash up upon the shore, in alien
Whiteness, like some deep sea creature.

But I know, Sydney, you’re on the other side of earth.




There is distance
Between us

Like the hard space between
Pen and paper.




I linger by the swept shoreline and seven seas,

Unready for the Eighth Journey you go on.




The voice breaks

The still winter seas crack

I hear you

Capped beneath blue braes.




I wear seaweeds and nakedness;
I fold your flotsam into me, like ocean floated origami.
I drink my own salt tears.

Mooney guides the tide in.




Damp letters wash up next to my bare feet.
The waves have taken their words, but I will be
Careful not to tread on them.


Daniel Hinds

About Daniel Hinds

Daniel Hinds lives in Newcastle. He won the Poetry Society’s Timothy Corsellis Young Critics Prize 2018 and was one of the winners of the Shortlist Book Review Competition 2020, held in celebration of the Dylan Thomas Prize. He was shortlisted for the Streetcake Experimental Writing Prize 2019 and the Terry Kelly Poetry Prize 2018. Two of his poems were highly commended in the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts Water Poetry competition. He has been published in Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal, Streetcake Magazine, The Wilfred Owen Association Journal, Nightingale & Sparrow, and Pre-Raphaelite Society Review. He has poetry forthcoming in The London Magazine and The Seventh Quarry. He was part of a panel of judges for the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts Belonging Poetry Competition. He graduated from Newcastle University with a first class degree in English Literature, and a Distinction in his English Literature 1500-1900 MA, for which he won two prestigious scholarships, the School Bursary Award and Excellence Scholarship. Twitter: @DanielGHinds