Daniel Hinds

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the poet

Winner of the Poetry Society’s Timothy Corsellis Young Critics Prize and commended in the National Centre for Writing’s UEA New Forms Award, Daniel Hinds lives in Newcastle. His poetry has been published or is forthcoming in a wide variety of respected titles, including The London Magazine, The New European, Wild Court, Stand, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Honest Ulsterman and Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal. Daniel was commissioned by New Creatives – a talent development scheme supported by Arts Council England and BBC Arts and delivered by Tyneside Cinema – to produce an audio piece based on his poetic sequence The Stone Men of Newcastle. This has been aired on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 6 Music.

the poems

The Crying of the Gulls

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      Between the shadow line on sand of your parasol

      And the lapped slush beside the salt threshold


      Is her hunting ground that moves

      With the light and the tide.


      Her dark painted nails dip in the white pool

      Of Mr Whippy’s spilt beach bleach


      Like livid pupils, small in the sick waters

      Of her mascaraed eyes.


      Sometimes the swaying of the black fans

      Around her pink legs catches a man’s eye.


      But not even the most spasmodic twitcher

      Looks for long at her yellow lips, marked


      By a red beauty spot,

      And the long grey bruises of her arms.


      The thick muscle of her neck undulates,

      Jaw unhinges, and untouched by the waves


      Of arms, she lets the slick suntan grease

      Ease the passing.


      Between the beach’s squashed chips and faded newsprint

      She plucks and swallows a knotted spotted handkerchief.

Ode to a Magpie /
One for Sorrow

O for a beaker full of the warm South


~ John Keats ~

Ode to a Nightingale

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Keats can keep / his numb-tongued nightingale; / I’ll save my stolen silver speech / for my pale and black / kleptomaniac. / Magpie, your bad luck beak is slick / with Satan’s serpent blood / and was / silent, / when all the others bayed for Christ / on his wet-blooded bough. / When Noah took to his Ark, / you alone stayed, / and strayed / to see the world drown, / to hear the secret knowledge of its last words, / and drink down its last / best / breath; / and like Noah, / swallowed your sorrows, and became Bacchus’s bird, / with wine-dark wings. / When all the other blackbirds were put in a pie, / you stole the silverware, / and carved out a bad name for yourself. / The world gives good mornings / to the one who heard its last good nights, / who would not shelter, / or sing / for a god on his beam. / Bad luck bird – be trod upon. / Bridge / the starry silver stream. / Link us / to the weaver of worlds / and words.

The Magi’s Camel

With the voices singing in our ears


~ T. S. Eliot ~

Journey of the Magi

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      The fat god squats between back braes.


      Does not discern the soft gasp as hoof meets grit;

      Even the dust fears the determined, unerring hammer


      Of two dark nails.


      The murmur of cloth, creaking leather and dry lips,

      The gold of a weak winter’s sun, a thin wash for a parched place.

      The sense behind, of a conversation on direction spoken frank.


      This is a life with few gifts; noses closed to scent,

      Thick lashes shading even the season’s poor wealth.

      The murder of your bones by flights of carrion birds.


      The shaggy and silken fortress moves,

      Gains and loses territory with every step.

      Stamps the sand with an alien sigil.


      A creature with six hands; two to bear the whip,

      Four to do the work. The adoration of the magi is a tough love.


      The way always, of those of the hill

      And those who speak from the mount.


      Slick guts work the miracle;

      A drop will last a week.


      A drink lasts longest for those last to drink.


      Only the sight of a horse without rider, white and old as starlight,

      Running masterless among long grasses, cooled and stilled by night,

      Stirs the hard muscle of a young heart from its dry and steady beat.


      The blurred and furry pulpit makes its way across the desert.

      Magicians preach from the turret, but none here will follow the hard way.

      For all they say, only thick soles and spindle limbs know the hardness.


      They know the weight of all the far-travelled books of sorcery.

      The washerwomen and shepherds jeer, fling earth;

      They have their own magic to work.


      Yes, three kings, three trees, a star, a child,

      But two humps.


      Discarded crowns gain swift burial in the desert.

      No, the way back the same as the way there.

Publishing credits

The Crying of the Gulls: Travels & Tribulations:

  An Anthology (Acid Bath Publishing)

Ode to a Magpie / One for Sorrow: Rewilding: An Ecopoetic

  Anthology (Crested Tit Collective)

The Magi’s Camel: Southword (Issue 41)