The Aura river, Finland. All photos (C) Robert Powell.

Robert Powell was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, and now lives in York, UK. For many years he has worked in the fields of literature, journalism, photography, the arts, and urbanism. Robert has published three collections of poetry, all of which touch on the theme of the natural world: Harvest of Light (Stone Flower, 2007); All (Valley Press,2015); and Riverain (Valley Press, 2018). A Small Box of River — a collaborative artist’s book and exhibition with artist Jake Attree — was produced with an accompanying exhibition in 2016. He was the winner of the 2012 Elmet Prize judged by Kathleen Jamie, and his poems and stories have appeared in Acumen, Bridport: The Winners (2010), Dream Catcher, The North, Orbis and The Rialto, as well as numerous Canadian journals.

Robert is currently ‘Poet in Residence’ in Finland, at the Saari Residence, which is maintained by Kone Foundation. This is a residence located in Mynämäki, Southwest Finland, for artists of all disciplines and nationalities. Whilst there, he’s produced a number of pictures and poems, such as this, which are related to one of Finland’s most important rivers, the Aura.


Aura writes a waterway

ploughs pages of fields 

in a muddied script of

aurum gouged & versed 

in the dark matter of earth


Aura writes away in water

aura    aurora    aureola

aathra and aura to a and bo 

Abo    Avram    Abraham

wet tongues of men & mud


Muddled gold with golden mud

earthed ink scribbled 

through fields and ages

on pages of ploughed desires

Aura dreams in water's ways

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