Watery Through The Gaps by Emma Blas

3.5 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the author in return for an honest review.

Several books that I have read recently have pointed out the obvious point that we are as much a part of this watery blue planet and its ecosystem as it is part of us. Over the pandemic many people have discovered or rediscovered the natural world and felt how just being in a woodland or near a river can help in so many ways. I spend a number of evenings walking down to the river, sometimes to watch the sun go down, or see if I can see the otters or sometimes just to watch the water flow under the bridge.

This new collection by Emma Blas is her conversations with the watery world that she wants us to start to correspond with too. They are poems that are drawn deep from her heart as she looks to the ocean for comfort and peace. In some she slings her anger deep into the cool silky water which absorbs and tempers her, the saline swell calm her boiling mind.


i will swap this ravens call

for a ride

on the wing of a gull

let this voice soften

salt and brined

to a howl for the moon


She finds herself at sunset, hoping to blend and blur with the sky and join the edge of the sunset. Her church is the ocean, a place that she holds dear and some of the poems reflect that spiritual side of her engagement with it. But there is anger in these words too, anger at the injustice in the world.


i have never tried

to hold something

so fluid as a river

Yet it feels more in my reach

than trying to grasp

what it means to be human


This is quite an emotional collection, Blas is baring her inner soul in a lot of the poems. From mourning not being near the shore for a long time to contemplating the vastness of the sky and counting the reasons why she cannot be loved. To Ripple is such a short poem, and yet full of profound mean about how we deal with relationships. As with any collection, there were a couple that I didn’t like, but overall I thought that this was a good collection.


Four Favourite Poems

In the Shadows

How High Will I Rise

The Edge of Moonlight

Worn Hollow

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  1. Liz Dexter

    I have missed being able to get to the sea and we don’t have a river as such here, so I have taken great solace for my local lake, from the slightly further away lake, and from our canal network.

    • Paul

      We’re fortunate where we are here. Wimborne has two rivers, and the sea is just down the road. I pass Holes Bay which is the north part of Poole Harbour, most days on the way to work

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