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
The first series of 8 workshops, based on the 8 poetry sections in Her Wings of Glass, is now available to individuals and to tutors.
Need help with travel to Second Light events? See Second Light Mary MacRae ‘Access to Poetry’ Fund
Round 8, Month 8. Katherine Gallagher is this month’s judge and she has selected Rose Flint’s poem Moontrade as her winner. Her four commended poets are Anna Avebury, Judith Kazantzis, Kaye Lee and Anne Ryland.
Lily left in a flooding month but only once I saw the Moon
and she was caught in the fur of the midnight city
like a white ghost bur twitched from a dream’s seagrasses.
Then nothing. Only the nightly count, the empty cup.
Days or weeks I was on the road, on the hill, on my way
till I came round a corner and she’d come clear, risen up
full from the valley to rest on a woolsack of clouds
where she watched the city’s scurrying bullion; guinea brass
to her silver coin. And this Moon is questioning me:
how am I spending my time? I’m going too fast, forgetting
tonight, in one of the hours of her long lidded night
she’ll look through the window of my daughter Lily
in Mexico City, pour her silvers over her sleeping,
soothe the cicadas, the clicking Spanish guitars.
Later rain will muffle Moon under his coat and bundle her
into the deep cave of the mind where she’ll lie unseen
and subversive. So far she’s always escaped, in time.
Next month I’ll keep better watch. Ask her to come
lit in a white flame dress
that spills love to the world’s four corners.
I’ll call her out with a cry/poem/prayer: Moon, Moon
this misty city can’t make anything out of your night currency
but I’ll do a trade with you. I’ll set my cup in the window
of every month and sing you into its circle
if you will gift my daughter with a good dream
as she lies sleeping in the City of Magic Possibilities.
Poem published in collection, Mother of Pearl, PS Avalon, 2008.
This poem struck me with its protagonist’s relentless determination and love. The poet enlists the help of the Moon, majestically “risen up / full … to rest on a woolsack of clouds” to “gift my daughter with a good dream … in the City of Magic Possibilities.” Not Plath’s ‘cold, alien’ moon but, resourceful, dependable, with great tenderness and hope.