Mary MacRae’s second collection
published Aug 10 by Second Light Publications. See order form (pdf file) for discount offers
Need help with travel to Second Light events? See Second Light Mary MacRae ‘Access to Poetry’ Fund
Round 10, Month 8: Kate Foley judged the April competition and has chosen Alison Brackenbury’s No as her winning poem. Her selection of commended poems are by Helen Ivory, Gill McEvoy, Jane McLaughlin and Simone Mansell Broome.
No one is ever good enough,
or kind enough.
No one stays awake
through the lovely rush of rain which fills our dark.
No one can hold the music.
They are counting coins or frowning
they are toppling, they are drowning.
No one is good.
But nothing is as quick as us,
no screen can match us
tape’s whirr catch us
nothing tilts like sun
to light from sad.
Nothing in all history
can reach to take your hand from me,
the dark, the rain’s gift, O
we should be glad.
Poem published: The Times Literary Supplement.
Brackenbury packs into a few lines the whole mystery of ‘the rush of rain that fills the dark’, ‘the tilt of the sun’, so that we feel the bleakness of our ‘counting’, ‘toppling’, ‘drowning’ selves, set against that magical ‘music’. Yet, at the last, without ornament or sentiment, because we can feel the touch of another’s hand, ‘we should be glad’.