Tag Archives: jude neale

A Place to Call Home – poem by Jude Neale

A Place to Call Home
To Nettie Wild

Paint white-silled windows
on the rooms of the homeless.

Fill them with hollyhocks and sky.

Let the honeyed light filter in
flooding the room
like pale cream on milk,
laughter spilling over sorrow.

May they fall into the sweep of stars
glittering their hard-eyed promise
over the lintel and stoop.

There’s a path in front;
it wavers and crosses
a meandering stream,

where it falls and falls again
into gleaming rain bowed glory.

They say build your own house
from dignity and pride.

Yet they know nothing really

of disappearing into innuendo,
or the grey incomplete answer
that swings like twilight
through dusky memory.

Paint an open door to enter through.

For the feral cat
curls round the rug,
she dreams of fire
and the yielding warmth
of your lap,
as you settle deep
in the plain wooden chair.

Paint a small bed,

draw up the covers,

and rest

like a wild salmon
finding her singular way

A Place to Call Home by Jude Neale was highly commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2017) judged by Abegail Morley.

splendid in its silence by Jude Neale
Splendid in its Silence is Jude Neale’s prizewinning poetry collection published by SPM Publications.

Venturing beyond our daily mien, Jude Neale reads from Splendid in its Silence

By Rebecca Tunnacliffe

Jude Neale Reading

For most of us, reading poetry is an uncommon occurrence. Poetry requires a focus and stillness we don’t often afford ourselves. So when our Island poet Jude Neale recently read from her latest collection, she offered us a rare and quiet contemplation. Splendid in its Silence is Jude’s fifth book of poetry which delivers what we seek in poetry – entry to deep thought and elevated feeling.

Jude read a dozen poems to Sunday’s full house of appreciative listeners. Her artistic gift is the ability to capture an everyday moment and elevate it to an iconic experience. In Jude’s poems we can dwell in the rarified space that poetry opens for us.

She began with the title poem which set the tone for all that followed – the memorializing of life’s fleeting yet monumental moments. We feel the intimate longing at the side of a dying spouse, the push from the wind urging a lover’s decision, the child’s elation of first communion in new shoes. The most poignant moment for me was a mother’s emptiness in the wake of her daughter’s leaving home as she experiences the fading warmth, the lingering scent, the impression on the bed. The images and ideas in Jude’s condensed expressions invite our vulnerability and reward us with an unexpected perspective, a tilt through her characteristic turn of phrase that elicits an emotional reaction – a tear, a gasp, a chuckle, even a shiver.

Hearing Jude recite in her mellifluous voice from Splendid in its Silence was to be transported to a rich inner life. Her melodious performance drew on her singer’s talent, and gave lilt and phrasing that will now forever echo in my future readings. Whether in recitation or on the page, Jude’s poetry touches us, and offers our community a connection to our deeper selves and to each other. We can relate to her poetic expressions that speak to our shared experiences as Bowen Islanders and to a world beyond our daily mien.

Jude Neale’s volumes of poetry can be found at the Phoenix and at the SPM Publications Shophttp://judeneale.ca, Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca,