The nature of monstrosity and how scientific invention can be used for good or ill; the humiliation of women, loss and betrayal, the need for refuge and the urge for flight – these are all explored in the sequence of poems that make up ‘The Daedalus Files‘. But who was Daedalus? In the Greek myth he was a heart-broken father, creating wings that led to the drowning of his son, Icarus. But he was also a designer of statues that seemed lifelike and a labyrinth for the minotaur, a hybrid beast. Twists inside your soul/are well concealed. Was Daedalus inventor or villain? The Daedalus Files is a new book of poetry by Mandy Pannett – author of All the Invisibles, Bee Purple, Frost Hollow and Jongleur in the Courtyard.
Sentinel Champions Stories #2 – Mandy Pannett
The first time Mandy Pannett and Sentinel Literary Quarterly met was in July 2009. She entered our maiden competition judged by Bob Beagrie (author of Civil Insolences and Leasungspell) and Andy Willoughby (author of Tough and Between Stations). Mandy’s “The God of Allotments” won third prize in that competition. Andy and Bob wrote in their adjudication report that the choice of this poem as third prize winner was because of “…its capacity to be intensely personal but to touch a universal chord with its mixture of rhetorical examination of the love affair, its restrained language that makes the sense of mourning much more powerful and its judicious inclusion and editing of specific concrete detail with a well judged movement between mundanity and deep pathos.”
Mandy placing in that competition has led to a beautiful relationship which has seen her serve as Poetry Editor of Sentinel Literary Quarterly for five years, and editor of two anthologies published by SPM Publications, namely; Bridgewatcher and Other Poems (2013) in aid of the Psychiatry Research Trust and Poems for a Liminal Age (2015) in aid of Médecins Sans Frontières. Over the years, she has judged many of our competitions and likes to enter some herself when she is not judging. In October 2020 her poem “Enjoying Sunlight with John Donne in Derek Jarman’s Garden” was highly commended in the SLQ competition judged by Roger Elkin.
THE GOD OF ALLOTMENTS
We were lovers for forty years.
Now you are dead.
Here on the allotment, others
will grow the scarlet runners, loving their blossom,
Why did we keep it a secret?
Guilt at reneging on vows?
Someone is threading up silver CDs in a bid to frighten the birds.
“mirrors for pigeons,” you’d say.
I don’t even know if they scattered your ashes or when.
Remember our shed – how we’d pretend
to be sorting out seeds and the door would casually
At times I thought the walls themselves would collapse.
Shall I go down to our pond?
That very last time it was covered in scum.
You said it was hot, kept coughing-
Were you dying and I didn’t know?
There’s no-one to talk to now, about you.
Only the god of allotments,
if he is in.
We always thought there’d be time for us –
at least for mingling our dust together,
as lovers do.
“The God of Allotments” was also published in Champion Poems #1