This is the space where we’ll host ‘Conversations’ around creativity and the Understory. These could be between members or with other commentators. And here we open with two Understory poems – perhaps in conversation with each other? Watch this space – and sign up to our Mailing List if you want email notifications – for more.


We do not want to know about the rocks.
Of course, occasionally someone disappears
but it’s better, safer, to keep things

as they are. Imagine what would happen
if we lit up this stretch of water? The dark
would come alive with shapes and creatures.

The rocks would rear up jagged. We’d see
how deep the water really is: those
lonely fathoms. Besides, just think,

what might we glimpse below the surface?
Lost faces – imagine? The fright! Don’t fret.
People drown silently most of the time.

Charlotte Gann, from The Girl Who Cried HappenStance, 2020.
Poem ‘Apprehension’ first published in The North.
In our talk there are many taverns

and in the taverns many snugs and in the snugs
many tables of many ages and many woods and
many people with many hearts have sat around
them had many talks and many pint glasses have
been emptied while many topics fill many hours
and many people in many taverns walk consciously
onwards to many lives as many others at many bars
unconsciously fill many hearts with many topics for
many hours of many walks round many woods to 
many taverns with many tables and many snugs

Sarah Barnsley