Robin Boothroyd

water koto cave


in the gardens of japan

there is a kind of fountain

called a suikinkutsu


‘water koto cave’

which is an upside down jar

buried in the ground


it has a hole

in the bottom

which allows water droplets

to dripdripdrip


into a shallow pool

enclosed by the jar


their splishsplashsploshing

is amplified by the jar

which echoes like a cave

which chimes like a koto

a water koto cave


of course

the fountain needs to be tuned

like an instrument


i mean


no one wants to hear

the sound of a horse

pissing into a bucket

for example


so you could say


that the gardeners who craft suikinkutsu

tune water droplets




just imagine


tuning a waterfall




Silly String Theory


Do you feel the cold hands warm heart of glass window to the soul-destroying work/life balance sheet music of the spheres? My present state of mind the gap year of the snake in the grass me up up and away with the fairies. To be honest, there is no alternative lifestyle choice of words fail me. But don’t worry: we can work it out in the sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.




Robin Boothroyd’s poems have previously been published on The Literateur and DOG-EAR. Last year he won the COMPAS Poetry Prize, judged by Ruth Padel. On Valentine’s Day he self-published an ebook of anti-romantic poems called Before the Cheesecake Arrived. He likes to read books and ride bikes but never at the same time.