Helen T Curtis

Helen T Curtis is a poet and photographer living in Derbyshire. Published in ARTEMISpoetry, Canon’s Mouth, Mother’s Milk Books and recently in Oxford School of Poetry Review where she continues to work towards a first pamphlet.


Frame of oak the bark to bear you
boards carved where the green-crowned king
bowed low; offered himself
a vaulted ark, big-hearted.
limbs of willow cradle raked bones
sister-fingers braid a creche for you;
with memory of water, peel and shed
the unsuitable suit;
lie in lattice-weave, bassinet
rocking, lapping, weeping.
as your glorious hour receded,
burn again in frankincense
harvested from your red-bone desert
the trees’ dripped tears
coil smoke around you, tendrils
soothe, soothe – balm for your flayed skin
almond flowers for your lips
blue hibiscus for your eyes
so your children will know you
Your essence rises, rich and fragrant;
oud of agarwood – born of corruption
precious resin from black infection
in the heart-wood
now transmuted.
Breathe now, rare brother
the air in here is sweet.
Rest now, oak bears all
blood, bone, breath and grace.

Helen T Curtis

Poem published in Oxford School of Poetry Review#1

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