A space for poems you like to read again and again.
We hope you enjoyed the poems posted in August. The first poems for September are by Geoff Sawers, Rowena M. Love, Derek Adams, Jonathan Taylor and Eileen Carney Hulme
Queen of the bees
Dyking & ditching out to the flat horizon
the forest-howl stirs from an oak-bole
rain thrumming in the high mast-stays
courting the honeypot girl
Hoodoo dove steeped in valerian
raids a million floral pitchers
for a gilt-edged Stalinist vision
a church not made with hands
Run thick-silk fur through your fingers
from rain or, perhaps, little pigs
oh yes, she says, l’état, c’est moi
And her lovers and slaves intone
their endless epithalamion
all repeating a minor chord
First published in Roundyhouse 6, August 2001
Rowena M. Love
The Dolphin for Insa
Cancer’s a queer fish:
anaemic amoeba endlessly mutating;
puffer-fish growths bloated with poison;
or shoals of cells
that prowl like piranhas
stripping my health in their feeding frenzy.
But attitude can attack back,
till I’m the dolphin swimming free
from this sea
I’ll trawl my system,
catching cancers and fears,
netting them to wriggle and squirm:
I’m the dolphin swimming free.
Modern medicine may have me filleted,
canned and processed,
pumped full of additives –
but the rest is up to me…
I’m the dolphin swimming free.
Dread might dorsal my spine,
tears flood my face with brine
but I… CAN… DO… THIS…
I am the dolphin swimming free.
First published in Reach Poetry Monthly Issue 45, May 2001. Published in Together (Imperial Cancer Research Fund volunteers’ magazine) June 2001. Also used in The Chameleon of Happiness, Running Threads and Lip Synch, all published by Makar Press. Image by Gill Pope.
Forces on Objects Undergoing Circular Motion
All year long the mainspring has been wound:
tightened on this, what, courtship?
Without a word,
without a touch,
without a kiss.
We spiral, round, round,
ignoring the ground.
First published in The Rialto, 2006.
Twins Playing in the Churchyard of St. Leonard’s, Swithland, 2010
An all-too-obvious Blakean
– or perhaps Dickensian –
between blue-slate shadows
stretched on the rack
of October sunlight,
the lichened dead,
like Pilate not waiting
to be answered.
Their Orthodox mother
shambles apart, upset
by this paganglican mingling
of sleeping and laughing;
but the hour’s unwitching,
and no one’s in:
even our twins can’t prise
these sockets open,
only jump on shadow-beds
whilst the playmate-dead
carry on snoozing
through childish Last Trump.
And eventually parents, sons, toddlers
and maybe even Fathers
will get bored of knocking.
Only sunlight can move these stones
First published in The International Festival Anthology (Seventh Quarry Press), 2010
Eileen Carney Hulme
I said your name
six times today, out loud
asked six people had they seen you
lately, near the orchard
where the apples thrum
and gaping mouths await
or perhaps they’d glimpsed
your shadow in the dunes,
whispering secrets to the marram grass,
walking to where the waves break
with the sea shaping
wrongs and rights
no-one knew where you’d gone
or how long you’d been away,
doors and windows boarded up,
the dull of sea-salt mouldering the past
and our almost days and nights
somewhere else, distant, unlived.
from the 2005 collection, The Space Between Rain. Also published when Eileen was featured poet in The Poetry Kit’s Caught in the Net 74 in 2011