Mary MacRae’s second collection
published Aug 10 by Second Light Publications. See order form (pdf file) for discount offers
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Round 10, Month 2: This month’s judge, Anne Stewart, has chosen Dark Matter, by Daphne Gloag, as her winner. The four poets whose work is commended are Anne Boileau, Angela Croft, Anne Ryland and Sarah Westcott.
That Volvo must be doing 70, I said
as we drove home from the museum. Words
as bridges, the road smooth as thought, sun low,
its brightness undone. Not so much traffic now.
Words as cushions. The engine’s so quiet, you said.
It was a kind of peace.
What did you like best today? I asked you. –
Well, the wise men – their huge star – on that ivory…
oh look at that, I knew that car would pull out.
My silent agreement merged with the quiet.
Long as memory it seemed, the road:
it could have gone on for ever, knowing nothing
of the souls it carried.
Today, I said, won’t last for ever
but our poems will remember it.
Clarity of being, bright surfaces
plain to see. Nothing to explain, except the comfort
of the banality of breath, except the ease
of words and silence
smooth as our speed,
except the way
two beings held together, hid one life,
just as in the galaxies
what cannot be seen
holds together the luminous stars.
*Invisible matter – dark matter – is generally thought to be the main reason for the gravity holding the galaxies together.
Poem published in earlier version in Ambit and included in collection A Compression of Distances
It was a tough choice again this month – such high calibre poems. However, Daphne Gloag’s Dark Matter shone out. I love the tangle of the universal and the elemental, the ‘banality of breath’ as words marry long-term lovers exactly as ‘what cannot be seen’ holds together the stars. Profound, intelligent without boasting cleverness. Gloag’s approach and skill are enviable.
Study to be Quiet, by Anne Boileau
Dancing with Chagall, by Angela Croft
For A Daughter, by Anne Ryland
Pool, by Sarah Westcott
Round 9: A recording of Maggie Norton’ Overall Winner of the Year (to August 2016) poem is now in our digital archive. listen to the poem.