Lynne Sutton grew up in the Yorkshire Dales.  


After studying art, history and English then Eastern Religious Studies at Lancaster University, she worked with antiques and crafts, books and wine then concentrated on working with animals in various capacities.


In 2005 she enrolled on a creative writing course and her career as a poet began.


She now live in Southport with her husband and rescue animals.













138 x 216mm


72 pages


£8.99 + P&P UK


ISBN 978-1-910834-36-7


PUB: JULY 2017










As the Fern Unfurls looks at the complexities and relationships found in the natural world and at the place taken within it by human beings. It uses the four seasons as a framework for exploring the themes of potential, growth, decay and death that affect us all.



“Lynne Sutton’s poems have a precision that invites the eye and that is matched by their subtle musicality. The poems find their source in rural crafts and ritual, in wry human narratives, in richly detailed and sharply observed interactions between humans, farm animals and wild creatures. That sense of humanity within nature is quietly stated yet intimately informed, pointing to the precarious tenure of all species. This is a sure-footed debut in which each poem’s exploratory impulse leads to the surprise of recognition.”

Graham Mort


“These poems display the writer’s affinity with and sensitivity to the natural world, empathy with human subjects, insight and keen observation. They are image-rich and compelling, and returning to them rewards the reader with extra layers of meaning and understanding.”

Alison Chisholm


“Lynne Sutton is a poet with a deep empathy for the natural world and the ancient forces that lie behind it. In this collection we are confronted by nature and landscapes where legend and reality combine to draw the reader in to time past and time future.”

Stephen Beattie













As the Fern Unfurls


The emerald shoot

is a caterpillar’s curl

wrapped up, sap-plump,

in a green lace shawl.


In the secret spiral

of chameleon’s tail,

a tip is sheltered

by an arching spine.


A fibrous fringe

hints of womb-wet hair,

tight prehensile grip

forms a uterus curve.


Each idea

is a life-fat spore;

all the world is here

as the fern unfurls.





Under the rim of an old sundial,

shaded now by a tree’s growth,

magic is made manifest.

In the violet shadows

veiled by tatters of web,


pearly beads of eggs tear

as tiny, spined grubs climb out.

Scarlet and black, with killing

jaws, they aphid-gorge;

fatten up to split and slough.


Anchored to the rough stone,

they pulse, pupate;

metamorphosis pulps and stirs:

creates new shapes

within water-tight skins.


Peachy-pale and soft, ladybird

beetles reverse out of crisp husks,

rest while the still, summer air

hardens spotted cases

and stiffens callow wings.





Playground shouts

bubble over our wall

and plastic guttering creaks

in the heat.

A bin-lorry churns,

lifting and tipping

green-wheelie weights.

The black and white dog crops

long lawn grass,

as thoughtful as a Friesian cow

and pigeon tails

scratch fans of courtship

in the patio’s dust.

Horns tear the air.

Throttles rattle tarmac.

Train brakes screech,

cutting the breeze

and bruise-blooms from planes

unzip the azure sky.












Dare to reach this peated

plateau and the marsh

will suffocate you

with sphagnum moss.


Stand still and you will slide

into the mud-water’s dark tannin,

try to run and you will be suckered

down and suctioned in.


A mountain hare kicks

in fear of you and runs a line

on wide, furred paws

but you can’t see its path.


A kestrel swoops with oiled ease

but you are too bogged down

with cloying lumps of feet

to fashion flight.


You hoped to bog-trot

the tussocked grass

on your clever willow-grids

but now you are mired in acid


and will sink with the slow rottings

of decomposing plants,

choking on the carbon

of your small, passing life





In a freezing dawn storm

the hill-farmer spits

on the string of perforated pebbles

that clatters on the porch wall

so that while he works his home

is barred to the baleful spirits

that swirl the shrieking moors.


Bleak in the farmhouse eaves

the maid circles her growing swell

of belly with the smooth

side of a cool mare-stone,

willing it, with dwindling strength,

to keep it’s hollowed eye

on their health and dreams.


Outside the steaming stable

the witch-stone hook is empty:

it brings good luck to steal

a charm and the child needs

all she can gather to her

as his baby leavens

within her skin like a warm loaf.


The horse is muddied and restless.

Unprotected, she was hag-ridden

to the Sabbath during the black

density of a bewitching night

and now her fitful sleep tumbles

with the disturbing turbulence

of magick.




Author photo Lynne 2017 amend 9781910834367