Featured Poets, January 2022                     home page
 

Barbara Dordi       Denise McSheehy       Clair Chilvers       Isabel Bermudez       Estelle Price       Jennie Osborne       June Webster       Lynne Wycherley       Martha Street       Myra Schneider       Susan Davies      

You may also wish to listen to poem recordings that have been added to our (small but growing!) digital archive. We have poems there by:
 
Nadine Brummer, Daphne Gloag, Gill Horitz, Mimi Khalvati, Lottie Kramer, Gill Learner, Gill McEvoy (read by Anne Stewart), Maggie Norton, Jennie Osborne, Elizabeth Soule, Jill Townsend, Marion Tracy, Fiona Ritchie Walker, Sarah Westcott and Lynne Wycherley.
 
Select and listen here               Poets of the Month (other dates)  

Barbara Dordi

Barbara Dordi writes poetry, reviews and articles in English and French. She is the former editor of Equinox; she now edits The French Literary Review, which publishes poems, stories and articles with a French connection. Deadlines 30th July/31st December.

In the Footsteps of Achille Laugé

Under a savage Midi sun,
in these winds: the Cers, the Autan,
and the dreaded Tramontane,
where honey-scented broom and pale-pink
almonds line the narrow roads of the Aude,
he made all this his own
a legacy of the seasons.
 
Up with the lark and out of doors
to capture the sights of the south.
He knew the frisson of expectancy
of this special light that makes
everything glow, when all seems possible,
meadows glinting gold
under a cerulean sky.
 
Brushing borders of yellow broom
his roulotte atelier would rumble
by fields stacked high with hay
to-ing and fro-ing l’Alouette
home of his family, his art.
The house stands here still, holding
its breath, awaiting his return.
 
 
 
 
l’Alouette – Laugé named his home ‘the lark’
roulotte atelier – mobile workshop

Barbara Dordi

published in Achille Laugé, Neo-Impressionist 1861-1944 – A Brief History, 2015

Publications:
Achille Laugé, Neo-Impressionist 1861-1944 – A Brief History, Deco Partnership, 2015, ISBN 978-0-9536800-5-4, £11.95 (or 15 euros), incl p&p, direct from B. Dordi;
The Alfred Jewels, (bilingual), Illustrated in colour. Hayward, 2012 ISBN 0-9536800-4-5 £11.99
Moving Still, 2009, Cinnamon Press, ISBN 978-1-9056146-9-1 £7.99
Entre-Deux–Two Francophiles in Alaigne, (bilingual), Illustrated in colour, £7.95
Picture-Poems, ISBN 0-9536800-3-7 £11.99

Address for submissions to French Literary Review: 11 Bath Road, Emsworth, Hampshire PO10 7EP
 
Barbara Dordi at BlogSpot.
web-pages on poetry p f.
 
e-mail

Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet

back to top

Denise McSheehy

Denise McSheehy lives in Devon. Her second collection The Plate Spinner was published by Oversteps Books in 2017. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.

See-through

     ‘Opposite her was a window luminous and cool as aquarium glass
     and warped as water ’
               Marilynne Robinson
 
The childhood window
new light pouring in, a white rat
running the drain pipe.
 
A veranda glassed, stuffy
jammed with boots and bikes, ill-fitting windows
vaulting the room into yellow.
 
The narrow window in that first house, jerked
open, the crumbly lilac giving off
its sweet cool thread.
 
Night, the children sleeping – a window cracked
for air, your face
pressed against the cold glass.
 
Found windows, framing roof tops chimneys
their intricate arrangement
of levels and slopes.
 
A room with a wall of glass, its interplay
of green and steady north light
swapped with black.
 
Windows scored with rain.
The brutal slots in castle walls.
Light’s geometry.
 

Denise McSheehy

Poem first published in Agenda, 2014; in collection The Plate Spinner, 2017, Oversteps Books

Publications:
The Plate Spinner, 2017, Oversteps Books, ISBN 978-1-9068567-5-5
Salt, 2008, The Poetry Can, ISBN 978-0-9539234-3-4, available from Denise
Salt Prints, pamphlet, 2000, Jones Press, , ISBN ISBN cISBN, £

Denise McSheehy at poetry p f
 
e-mail Denise McSheehy

Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet

back to top

Clair Chilvers

Clair Chilvers’s poems have been published in online and print journals, and anthologies. Her first collection Out the Darkness was published in 2021 (Frosted Fire). She lives in Gloucestershire, UK.

Knitting

   I
 
Cast on loosely
Grandmother frowned
as she turned the heel
on grey metal needles.
 
   II
 
Mother knitted
with casual nonchalance,
on the beach
in a striped deckchair
Knit one purl one
 
   III
 
a lecture in Copenhagen
to an audience of ten
one knitting
Knit two together
 
   III
 
A white shawl
for my firstborn
knitted through a haze of nausea
Knit one, slip one
 
   IV
 
Corfiot black-clad grandmothers
on their doorsteps, late afternoon,
gossiped, needles clicked
Knit two together
 
   V
 
Lake Titicaca,
the boatman’s teenage son
knitted a tasselled hat
Knit one, purl one
 
   VI
 
Grandson
in a striped handknitted jumper
took his first steps
knit two together
 
   VII
 
My mother by the window
knitted blanket over her knees
in her gentlewomen’s care home
Cast off neatly

Clair Chilvers

in collection Out of the Darkness, Frosted Fire, 2021

Publications:
Out of the Darkness, collection, 2021, Frosted Fire, ISBN 978-1-8384357-2-1
Pilgrimage, pamphlet, 2017, ISBN 978-16909959-2-0
Featured Author in Impspired Issue 5, June 2020
Heritage, anthology, New Writing VIII. Horseplay Press, 2019

Clair Chilvers blog
 
e-mail Clair Chilvers

Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet

back to top

Isabel Bermudez

Isabel Bermudez lives in Kent. Her chapbook collection, ‘Extranjeros’ (2015), is available from Flarestack Poets. Her full collection ‘Small Disturbances’ is published by Rockingham Press (October 2016).

Heron speaks

He says again, he
doesn’t know how he used
to fit everything in,
 
he doesn’t know where it goes,
the time, it just evaporates…
Watching from the balcony
 
it’ll all be wound up he says,
by the end of next year,
the old brewery

 
as two huge metal tanks
suspended in air like flies in aspic
are lowered over its brick wall
 
onto waiting barges
bound for elsewhere
and I find myself thinking
 
of odds and ends, how it was
always he who used to say, Don’t fret…
Now he sees it go,
 
a barge that slips away
as light returns again:
the empty river’s trick
 
a gleam of silverware,
those centuries of beer,
ship-loads of sugar, yards of steel
 
whose yellowed ledgers state
in neat black script
their clear economy of
 
trade and deficit, while love,
the one timepiece that endures,
waives past debts,
 
and borrows only to exchange,
is like the strange December moon,
the long-night moon,
 
keeper of the light, of human dust
and the vanished years, clocking
the measure of our fate.

 

Isabel Bermuez

in collection Small Disturbances

Publications:
Small Disturbances, 2016 (October), Rockingham Press, ISBN 978-19048516-6-0
Extranjeros, 2015, Flarestack Poets, ISBN 978-1-9064804-2-4

Address:

2 York Rise
Orpington
Kent
BR6 8PR  
Isabel Bermudez at poetry p f
 
e-mail Isabel Bermudez

Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet

back to top

Estelle Price

Estelle Price lives in Cheshire but often goes west to the Llŷn Peninsula. She is learning Welsh. Estelle is the winner of the 2021 Welsh Poetry Competition & the 2018 Book of Kells Writing Competition. Her poems are in Poetry Wales & other journals.

Come Night

     (after Derek Mahon)
 
And why would I not wish, after a drawerful of days
disarrayed with worry, to walk into dusk’s byways
leaving the back gate unlatched? Come night
I’ll say, lead me away from the probing kitchen light
where fear simmers blood-orange like a dying sun
and all the talk is of treatment not yet begun.
Race me across the cropped grass until my mind
is infused with black, the future set free, undefined.
Somewhere in the forest a badger leaves the sett
to forage for her cubs. Inside a child learns the alphabet
his small hand feeding the page with words.
I stand with my back to the door knowing in spite
of everything a mother never loses the urge
to run, for who can tell if everything will be alright?
 

Estelle Price

Poem published in 14 Magazine, Series 2, Issue 2

Publications:
Primers 6, Summer 2022, Nine Arches Press

e-mail Estelle Price

Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet

back to top

Jennie Osborne

Jennie Osborne lives on the edge of Dartmoor, active in poetry around South Devon. One of organisers of Teignmouth Poetry Festival. Performer and workshop leader. Won 2015 Kent and Sussex Poetry Prize.

Salmon

It’s too early
for salmon leaping
or too late.
 
I’m in the right place
thinking perhaps
no time is wrong
 
That I feel at home here
or anywhere
that isn’t home
 
and as I stand in that knowledge
the salmon come, leaping.
 

Jennie Osborne

Poem published: The Rialto, Autumn 2013.

Publications:
Colouring Outside the Lines, 2015, Oversteps Books, ISBN 978-1-9068565-8-8
collection, How to be Naked, 2010, Oversteps Books, ISBN 978-1-9068561-3-7. £8;
CD, Something about a Woman, £5 + 50p p&p, direct from Jennie

Overall winner of the SecondLightLive Poetry Competition, Round 2, Nov 08 to Sep 09. Listen to Jennie reading There’s Something about a Woman Swallowing Flames

e-mail Jennie Osborne
 
web-pages on poetry p f.

Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet

back to top

June Webster

June Webster is a poet and short story writer. Her poems have been published in South Bank Poetry, DulwichOnView, Morley Poets A First Anthology, Lighten Up Online, SecondLightLive, Dreich Magazine & Haiku Journal. She was short-listed for the Plumstead Poet Laureate.

Cradle to Crib

It’s colic, they said,
it’ll pass, first three months
it’s normal, some do, others don’t.

Each time I held you close.
tiny legs curled tight to belly,
your screaming pain mine.
I soothed the spasms
until the meds took over
when cries hushed.
I placed you in your cradle.
 
It’s her age, they said,
it’ll pass, teens, always a worry.
You stayed out late,
danced till dawn, run wild
on the heath, gave me cheek
then hugs to allay my fears.
The day you celebrated adulthood,
you came home drunk and sick,
while the meds worked
I placed you in your bed.
 
It’s an auto-immune disease,
it will pass, just a few years
,
but it stayed, held on tight,
took a piece of you little by little.
Every twinge of your torment,
mine as I sat by you.
holding on, squirming
until the meds took over,
and irrevocable peace
placed you in your final crib.
 

June Webster

Publications:
Morley Poets: A First Anthology, 2018, Morley College, £6.99

e-mail June Webster

Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet

back to top

Lynne Wycherley

Lynne Wycherley finds herself drawn to light-haunted landscapes – a legacy, perhaps, of childhood by the Fens. Her lyrical and sometimes metaphysical poems have featured widely. (Her recent prizes include the Second Light poetry competition and the E.A. Fellows’ Prize).

Leaving Burray

Beyond the Barrier, fear’s grey wall,
it appears from nowhere –
 
a strip of blue, transcendent blue,
as if a thousand kingfishers
fell from heaven.
 
Glance again and it’s gone,
mist’s sleight of hand,
its voltage trace still printed on your soul.
 

 
* Barrier – Churchill Barrier (Scapa Flow)

Lynne Wycherley

in collection Poppy in a Storm-Struck Field

Publications:
Poppy in a Storm-struck Field, 2009, Shoestring Press, ISBN 978-1-907356-00-1. £9.
North Flight, 2006, Shoestring Press.
At the Edge of Light, 2003, Shoestring Press.
Fens Poems (‘A Sea of Dark Fields’), 2000, Hilton House pamphlets.
Cracks in the Ice, 1999, Acumen Occasional Pamphlet Series.

e-mail Lynne

Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet

back to top

Martha Street

Martha Street lives in Bristol and meets in the city’s libraries with Bus Pass Poets.

Let the Trees

Let the trees advise you.
Listen to their leaves chanting spells
so ancient we’ve lost their meaning,
a wordless language of solace.
 
Let the strong torsos of trees
show you endurance, and age;
let the magical shedding of red garments,
the giving to wind of white blossoms
speak of time’s unveiling,
how, stripped bare, the living body
can become even more beautiful.
 
The fall and decay of one giant
will scribble a message on bark,
the calligraphy of lichen, of claw marks,
transparent shells of beetles, and moss.
 
Can you see where that dark figure stood
blocking the sun? Now light falls through that space,
into the green of the clearing.

Martha Street

Publications:
Stone Soup, Palores Publications, 2010 ISBN 978-1-906845-19-3 £4.50 from author (includes p&p)
Little Book of Poems, pamphlet, Forward Press, 2002
Little Book of Poems, pamphlet, Forward Press, 2000

e-mail

Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet

back to top

Myra Schneider

Myra Schneider has many collections of poetry. Other publications include novels for young people and books about personal writing. One is Writing My Way Through Cancer (Jessica Kingsley 2003). She tutors for the Poetry School in London.

Myra is a Consultant to Second Light Network, a previous competition judge, and is on the Tutor list. (see ‘More’ link below)

Lifting the Sky

Plant yourself in the quiet on a familiar floor
or on an uncut summer lawn
 
and, thinking of seabirds, stretch out your arms,
let them ascend through the unresisting air.
 
With palms facing upwards, travel your hands
till your fingertips almost meet,
 
then release your breath, begin to separate yourself
from the weight of all that lies on you.
 
Allow your mind to open to this moment and your arms
to rise as they lift the palpable blue
 
high above the crown of your head.
Your wings will fold away
 
but raise them slowly to the blue again, maybe
a lightness like liquid amber will flow through you.

Myra Schneider

Poem published: Lifting the Sky, Ward Wood Publishing, 2018

Publications:
Siege and Symphony, Second Light Publications, 2021, ISBN 978-0-9927088-2-5, £9.95
Lifting the Sky, Ward Wood Publishing, 2018, ISBN 978-1-9087426-8-1, £9.99
Persephone in Finsbury Park (pamphlet), Second Light Publications, 2016, ISBN 978-0-9927088-2-5, £7.95
The Door to Colour, Enitharmon, 2014, ISBN 978-1-9075875-1-1, £9.99
Writing Your Self (with John Killick), Continuum, 2008, 978-1-8470625-2-9, £17.99
Writing Your Way Through Cancer, Jessica Kingsley, 2003, 1-843101-13-0, £19.95

Myra Schneider website
 
See Maitreyabandhu 2012 interview with Myra (40 minutes): Poetry East Interview
 
e-mail

more...

Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet

back to top

Susan Davies

I am a retired lecturer in English Literature. I write poetry and short stories and I have just completed a memoir, and I’m now working on a novel. I contine to write poetry as it is my first love.

23 Fitzroy Road, Primrose Hill

What picture soothed the mind’s eye
and brought her to life again?
Maybe the white pillow case on the line
puffed up and puckered like a barnacle goose.
 
Or the memory of my first love,
waiting for me in his room, while I
a callow, skimp of a girl – barely
seventeen, and not yet broken in –
carelessly lingered by the landing
window, where below, over the fence,
I saw a young mother, pegging
out nappies in the snow along
a frosted loop of rope – her red hair
plaited and coiled like a coronet
to frame the loveliness of her face.
 
And I found myself caught in the silent
beauty and rhythm of her movement –
arching down, and reaching up
on the ringing, frosted path –
her raw, worn hands pinching
the corners of her parchment poetry –
her masterpieces stretched out to dry.
 
I didn’t know then that her mirrors
were already sheeted, and her spirit
demised with every shot of breath.
I didn’t know she wanted a sarcophagus
stamped with the face of the moon – bold, too, with tigery stripes,
and her body embalmed in warm
honey to lie beside her copper cauldron
and rouge-pots, glowing vermillion
like the eyes of a predatory god.
And her heart to be wrapped
in brown paper, tied up with string
and tucked between her bare, crossed feet.
 

Susan Davies

23 Fitzroy Road is a prize winning poem: Sentinel Poetry competition, September 2012

Publications:
Short Story, Crake’s Troll, published in collection Significant Spaces,
Earlyworks Press, 2013, ISBN 978-1-9064518-6-8 £8.99

Susan Davies at poetry p f
 

e-mail Susan Davies

Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet

back to top