Poems by Mark Totterdell


I returned to poetry in 2010 after decades away from it. Since then my poems have appeared in many magazines and have won competitions. A selection of them appear on this site.



Adder, sinuous,

unwinds as if attempting to enact

the characters emblazoned on its back

in strokes of black.


Adder, sibilant,

warning of its existence with a hiss,

voices its very shape, the thing it is,

the long, thin S.


Adder, venomous,

maintains a line around it I daren’t cross,

for fear, from hollow fangs in gaping jaws,

of pain, or worse.


Adder, innocent

of any meanings I invest it with,

entwines itself among tough stems of heath,

there but to live.