Friday, July 26, 2013

Breakthrough time!

In the last  month I've had a collection accepted for publication by Oversteps Books! It will be called The Point of Waking and will come out later this year. Working with an editor to design a book is quite a learning curve!
I've also had a poem chosen by Penguin for their upcoming anthology The Poetry of Sex, due out in January, AND my first piece (prose) to be published in the next MsLexia! Am I on a roll? I hope so!

Bare Hands: Departure Lounge

Bare Hands had a competition for poems and photos on the subject of Bare Hands!
This poem was Highly Commended and is on their website, which is full of intriguing poems and artwork - have a look!

Departure Lounge

I’d tucked the last of our green figs
in a thermal mug in your hand luggage
with these fingers now linked

to your working hands
that fix things: locks on gates
the windsurf sail, the cistern.

They played on my skin this morning
teasing out tension
between my shoulder blades.

And your eyes that look
at all of me
and your tongue…

that time when I wept
with self-loathing
it licked the salt from the wound.

The queue for the check-in is long.
You tell me to go but I stay.
It’s hard to find conversation.

When you reach the corner of the stairs 
I text, ‘I missed you first.’

A Knowledge of Meadows

This poem was written after a walk near Dronfield in Derbyshire. It has gone through various versions but I am very happy that it has now been published in Artemispoetry Issue 10, selected by the wonderful Anne Cluysenaar. Artemispoetry is a bi-annual magazine of women's poetry, articles and reviews published by Second Light in London - I love it!

A Knowledge of Meadows

Site of Special Scientific Interest,
a sign had said, evoking fences, 
closure, inspections. Not this
damp muddle where air is heavy
with the breath of meadowsweet,
unruly above betony, darts of orchid,
sparks of ragged robin,
hoary willow herb, bloody spears
of sorrel, rock roses: a holy hash
of Flora’s things, half hidden
by high hazel already speckled
with pea green clusters
the milk teeth of nuts.

That’s a native small-leaved maple
and an airy space of aspens whispers
over a hollow at the bottom of the field.
I feel a marsh of past meadows
in me; shift through mist to bogs
of marigolds and lady’s smock,
and rushes we’d peel all the way 
to school, not knowing that before 
schools began, their wicks
lit the lamps of history. 

Now, framed in a gap in hawthorn,
lake bright, pale as bulbs:
a group of ponies, all the colours
of summer clouds. Their backs are bare
horizons, their bellies, globes. 
Muzzles lift curiously, manes
raise question marks as they swerve
towards me, and noses nuzzle me,
hot with scientific interest.

The Living Line

The next meeting of The Living Line women's poetry group is on Sat August 10th. Come and enjoy writing and reading poetry on a summer's day in Grindleford! We have room for a couple more women writers - level of experience not important. Get in touch!