Thursday, April 26, 2012

Published in 2012


You’re moulded in the hot hole of your bed
like any creature that is not of the night.
But the creaks and crashes that wake you
aren’t of the forest, and you’re not holed
in the stable earth or safely nested 
in the bole of a tree. You are asleep high 
in the pink house on the edge of the hill, 
with flimsy fixtures straining for a fling
with this North Westerly who’s a knack 
of unclasping shutters that slam 
against windows, the trick
of slapping awnings, slinging screens 
and shaking doors that ache to unhinge. 

So, you must drag your sleep-sodden 
limbs from their second skin, stumble 
downstairs, wrench open resistant windows, 
let the beast in, fanged and freezing. 
You must fight to fend off its force
while you clamp the stiff catches closed
again, wrench and secure the latches
in their cold metal beds, then burrow back
to the weak, wasted warmth of yours.
It’s what you do. Wake up, slough off
the sleeping animal, work out
what in the world needs doing.

This one was shortlisted in the Ver PrizeCompetition judged by Mimi Khalvati, and appears in the Ver Prize Anthology. It's not set in this English summer, but in a Cretan January!

Nothing Sacred

The warning tape was scattered ragged in the wind.
Her machete rang on stone, then stuck in space.
She heard stuff hit water.
The language didn’t sound like modern Greek.
Nor were the sounds quite like a modern lute.
A kingfisher skimmed by: they’re territorial.
She knew more about birds than ancient sites.
The cave contained five graves of female saints.
‘For heaven’s sake, what now?’ she heard one sigh.

This poem came out of one of Peter Sansom's more quirky exercises and has just been published in the wonderfully vibrant Other Poetry, of which the editor James Roderick Burns boasts, ' We have never had a house style - poetry is too diverse and surprising for that'. It's a refreshing, sparkling read of poems and reviews 'from the North East of England and the Known World.' Worth more that a fiver! Go to 

Monday, April 2, 2012

2011 - a good year for short listings!

It was fun being feted by Holland Park Press at their celebratory event as one of five shortlisted poets out of 900 entries to their Angels and Devils Competition on the subject of family relationships. Also good to be there with Rosie Garland and hear her read her winning poem. Thanks to those lovely people.
I was chuffed to be commended in The New Writer’s Collection Competition - among the top ten entries. As a result, some of my poems will be published in The New Writer later in the year. Definitely progress from the Honourable Mention they gave me in 2010! 
And in the prestigious Cinnamon Poetry Collection Competitiion, my collection was longlisted.
The poem ‘Slackening’ was shortlisted in The Grey Hen Competition, and two poems were shortlisted in The Second Light Competition.

All very encouraging, as is an invitation by Oversteps Books to submit a collection at the end of this year.

Plenty to work towards, then! 

Thanks to all of you who've looked at my published poems from 2011. I hope to add many more in 2012.