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 1: This month’s judge is Joy Howard. She has selected Ann Alexander’s poem To the front, as night is falling. The four poets whose work is commended are Jan Bay-Petersen, Nicky Mesch, Sarah Westcott and Sue Wood.
Those who set up home by the sea
must consider the tides, and we do.
At the end of the day we walk to the sea, and talk
of the incoming, outgoing, neap and full,
high, ebb, spring and flood of the tides.
We consider the moon that sucks the tides;
full, horned, gibbous and pale,
waxing and waning, ringed and red.
The children, the ecstatic dogs,
louche youths under the granite walls,
have gone to earth.
we sniff the wind that tickles the waves:
simoom, sirocco, willywar, breeze;
dip our squealing toes in the gravelly sea;
imagine the world that lies beneath –
its mountains and rifts, its wrecks, its bones;
the uplifting, collapsing of rock.
Each morning he gets up,
shakes his memory and the day to life –
and if his eyes, his ears, his legs
are every day a little less,
the balance holds.
Evening will come.
Walk me to the sea, he says then,
holding out his hand
to save me from drowning.
First Prize, Grey Hen Poetry Competition 2013 and published at www.greyhenpress.com;
Published in Old Things (Ward Wood 2016)
The poet’s precision of language, her concise and telling phrase-making: ‘ecstatic dogs / louche youths under the granite walls’, ‘he gets up / shakes the memory and the day to life’, make this very moving poem one whose echoes remain in the mind. It is a dignified testament to long-lasting love and deep grief, tellingly placed in the everyday ordinariness and extraordinary beauty of a seaside town. As such, and as a poem, pretty near perfect.
It’s a Two and You’re Dead, by Jan Bay-Petersen
Testing Her Metal, by Nicky Mesch
Pool, by Sarah Westcott
Imagine yourself to be water, by Sue Wood
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.