Mary MacRae’s second collection
published Aug 10 by Second Light Publications. See order form (pdf file) for discount offers
Listen to Jill Townsend reading her winning poem (Aug 14) Sun Block
see Dilys’s Guest Blog on Ambitious Women Poets
Need help with travel to Second Light events? See Second Light Mary MacRae ‘Access to Poetry’ Fund
Round 8, Month 9. Our judge this month is Hylda Sims. Her winner is Lyn Moir with her poem Dream Cigarette… The four commended poems are by Anna Avebury, Kym Lloyd, Anne Ryland and Joolz Sparkes.
Not the ritual post-coital, languorously passed from hand to hand,
smoke sucked further down than orgasm’s launch-pad: that’s not the one
comes back in dreams. No, I’m doing something ordinary, some daily task
so boring I’ve no idea what it is, and you’re there with me: it’s as I said,
a dream. We do this thing, we talk, we pass the time companionably
or not, depending if we argue, but the closeness never goes. That’s when
I realise I’m smoking, cigarette in hand as normal as the punctuation mark
it often was, marking conversation stresses with a jab. Still in the dream
I know that this is wrong, recall, in parallel with whatever task we’re doing,
that evening forty years ago when as usual I offered you my Senior Service
and you, who always carried Player’s Navy Cut, said "No, let’s give up now."
Asleep, I feel a twist of longing. Awake, I’m made aware it must have been
a real addiction. But then of course, in dreams I only ever smoke with you.
Poem published: commended in the Second Light Competition 2006 and published in Skeins of Geese – The 100 Poets Anthology (2008) (a StAnza publication).
A witty, delightful and succinct lament for past addictions – cigarettes; lover. ‘The ritual post-coital’… how many of us recall that previous pleasure (and do people still smoke in bed?) This poem manages to be wryly nostalgic without sentimentality or sadness – not easily done and very well done here – a super, unpretentious piece of work.
Mammogram, by Anna Avebury
Shall I Call You Eve?, by Kym Lloyd
For a Daughter, by Anne Ryland
Gloucester Re-imagined: A dedication to anyone who gets dug up in a car park 200 years later , by Joolz Sparkes