The Bestiary is an astonishing debut collection of lyrical, intelligent poems which challenge the ways in which we respond to the natural environment around us. With subjects that range from sea-bound eels, lost hedgehogs and lonely butchers to a 17th-century autopsy, Chinese mythology and the flight patterns of snow geese, Sam Meekings’ poems explore both the instability and the small moments of epiphany in our complex and changing world.
“Shuttles between the natural, the philosophical, and the manufactured world, never missing a beat…my expectations are high for the future of Sam Meekings.”
“Elemental, creaturely, intelligent, and utterly convincing. Nature is not just observed in these poems, but lived.”
“A rather beautiful volume of verse.”
With a fist of flint I pick back
the pale pack of crabs scaling
a husk of foamy driftwood,
which for them is an altar
to a malevolent god of shipwrecks
as rough as a cat’s tongue.
I push to its hum – hunching
down to its hulking gravity
I begin to understand
the motion of yesterdays
struggling to catch us up.
When I reach out to touch it
my shadow is snapped off
by the waltzing breeze and carried,
flailing, dancing, out to sea.