Nadine Brummer

Nadine Brummer, born in Manchester, lives in London and Dorset. She studied at London and Oxford Universities and taught at Goldsmiths college. Her work is much published in magazines and anthologies (including 2 of SLN’s and Entering the Tapestry (Poetry School/Enitharmon).

The Frog’s Princess

That night, finding him in my bed,
within kissing distance,
I wanted to take the stare
off his face – those eyes
all bulge and goggle.
Then I saw their depth, a look
that could take me anywhere
backwards in time. I recalled
an aquarium under the sea where
I’d pressed my face to the glass
of a wolf-eel’s tank, mesmerised
by a little reptilian head
with eyeballs lifting off
like spaceships that settled
into an expression beyond
a seal-pup’s dopey smile
or the pout of fish –
like that of some new-born child
you swear has been here before.
The frog was like him,
but when he gulped and a mouth
smelling of weed or bull-kelp
came close to my lips
I flinched and held out my hand
to stop his jump and touched
a spasm of green, a creature trying
to slither out of himself.
I’ve been so often trapped
In flesh that didn’t feel mine
I wondered what he could see
when he gazed into a pond;
he took my sigh as a signal
to kiss. I loved him best
the moment before he changed,
a small, crouched, alien thing
in need of a body.

Nadine Brummer

Poem published: Poetry London, May 2003

Out of the Blue, Shoestring Press, 2006. ISBN: 987 1 904886 31 0. 8.95
Half Way to Madrid, Shoestring Press, 2002. ISBN: 899 549 70 6. 7.50 (Poetry Book Society Recommendation)
A Question of Blue Tulips and other poems, Shoestring Press, 1999. ISBN: 899 549 323. 3


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