Things I Have Advertently and Inadvertently Taught My Daughters This Past Year No one is wholly good or wholly bad. (with one or two exceptions) A movie scene with a woman being a warrior can make up for badly-written dialogue … Continue reading
Landing in Chisana Chisana is a lost ghost town. Even the ghosts have disappeared. Spruce trees crack against starlight and something jostles an owl from a limb. A few cabins stare at me as if grousing, long-dead gold-rushers … Continue reading
Hermit I am a hireling; garden ornament, fount of wisdom, morose and pensive resident. They bring me remnants from their banquets: roasted partridge; squabs from the dovecote – small specimens to delight my palate – but I feel for … Continue reading
This gallery contains 2 photos.
Showering Grandma You sensed she’d reckoned right from the start we were kitting-out this wet-room especially for her. That’s why she sits resplendent now on the bath-stool she’s placed just-so beneath the snaking shower head. Only those … Continue reading
History’s Footnote: the fly for Elliot Gittings For much of the time goes unnoticed even when, after his zigzag tantivying, he draws near and lands four squarely almost in your face, to stand silently, legs angled and straddled like … Continue reading
Being Waspish … our neighbour said right from the start, No good will come of it. By “it” she meant billeting the Yanks in Stannard’s shirt-mill, where they bunked up between the greasy reek of stilled machines and the … Continue reading
Answering Julia Copus
Yes, Julia, love can be like spilt tea,
inching up through us, warm and sweet,
sepia-coloured, you describe it –
but when it steals in unbidden,
that first timid stain (should you resist)
will embed itself, bleeding like raw meat
dense and violet, its fist of iron
ever-present, binding yet purblind,
drumming senselessly. Unanswerable,
not mere autocrat, but anarchist,
it breaks every rule – its rivers,
like arteries starved of oxygen, double
back to that place before you knew
love – and how it was to be
you being you.
Answering Julia Copus by Sandra Galton received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2017) judged by Abegail Morley.
I slept and dreamt of the Amazon,
unhooked a river
and it became an endless souk.
I crafted an apple –
that crisp dead fruit became a tiny wall of glass.
I breathed three stars into a clock
and they shook to tell me my brother was there.
I spoke to an echo
and a woman’s voice cried an electric crackle.
I heard a bluebird tweet
and it carved a troll of ancient granite.
I searched in the dust of God’s library
and found a tome shaped like my face.
I hunted for Jesus amongst the chatter
and a million prophets appeared in the smoke.
At night, when I breathe,
it is with a machine
without which I would die.
I would suffocate in the very air
that feeds the bats and the hyenas
and the crying babies in their mother’s arms.
One day, I asked a changeling
whether I needed to use technology
and he scattered ten thousand flowers on the floor
which spelt out the words
‘Without me, you are nothing.’
Machine by Martin Wildman received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2017) judged by Abegail Morley.
Lately she’d promised not to paddle in the sea
or ride her bike, instead she stayed inside,
pill packets left in rows on the dressing table.
A stickler for no waste – pulverised left-overs,
stewed teabags squeezed to feed cuttings,
calendar pictures made into thank you cards.
She made collages from dried fish bones, tops
of poppy heads, toothpaste tops shaped
as rocks – green splintered glass as forest trees.
In summer months she’d drive down south;
whole mornings in her Morris Minor, driving
on A roads, B roads, sandwiches and flasks of tea.
She’d sit with grandchildren on her knee
playing games with words in a Collins Graphic
English Dictionary – spelling out the impossible.
I suppose we shouldn’t have been surprised,
a shrill voice enquiring ‘are you next of kin?’
We couldn’t find our map, like us, it was missing.
The Call by Audrey Ardern-Jones was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2017) judged by Abegail Morley.
She’d have known him anywhere
by his height, by his chest barrelled
like an ox, by his scars, by the way
he looked at her, by the way he kicked
the last suitor down the stairs.
She stood by the fire like a statue,
hoping to unfreeze her veins, warm
to welcome him; when she opened
her mouth nothing came, certainly
no sound he could recognize.
I am come, he said not looking at her
but at the mirror that hung above her head,
there he saw his face crumble as if the silvering
had slipped but not before it imperfectly caught
the shadow of birds she’d woven, take flight.
The Return by Lyn Thornton was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2017) judged by Abegail Morley.