Felix Hodcroft is a prolific writer and performer based in
Scarborough, North Yorkshire. Manchester-born, Oxford-bred,
Felix gained degrees in English Literature and Applied Social
Sciences, and worked as a probation officer in Birmingham, Hull
and East Yorkshire – after detours into the worlds of civil
service and grave digging.
He is renowned for his passionate, animated style of spoken-
word performance, particularly as one half of ‘The Hull to
Scarborough Line’, a double-act with fellow Valley Press author
collection of poetry, and Lives of Lilo (2012), a children’s novel
with adult appeal, both published by Valley Press. In 2014 he
by writers from North and East Yorkshire. Felix was also the
his friend and fellow poet Nigel Gerrans, published in 2015.
On the first perfect dawn
after my death-day,
wake yourself early – you'll
need no alarm.
Tread softly through your garden,
breathe its perfumes, sip its birdsong
and wash your eyes with dew.
There'll be stillness, something
waiting, there'll be sunbeams melting mist.
There will be buds that gently ripple into
scarlet, snow and gold.
And is all this juice
just death's digestion? Yes!
And so, my love, are you,
come stretch your flesh-robed fingers out,
pluck the dense, bright air.
Remember how my soft touch felt?
It's here, it's here!
On the first fine weekend
after my death-day,
motor through the peaks –
you'll have to
map-read for yourself.
You'll find that cottage, by a stream,
we stayed – go in, love, rest till dark then,
if you switch off all the lights and music, step outside –
You'll feel the night close up around you,
sparkling waters rill and purl as
time; breathes; out.
Now, wait till you are wholly swallowed,
wait – wait...
Now! Look up!
At the dazzle of a million furnaces
incinerating all we knew.
I'm not out there,
my only home's
in you, in you!
And what of every other day
after my death day?
Stumbling through the din and chaos,
your wings torn by neglect, your
beauty dulled with pain.
No garden and no starlit night.
What have I for you, now?
Reflections in a crowd.
Other eyes as green but fresher;
tiny, pointless acts of kindness;
someone, grieving, comforted,
if only for an hour.
Tiny drops of honesty,
little shreds of care – there,
in the dark heart of your grey world,
in the hour of your despair,
the truth that you and I
around you –