Featured Poets, June 2018                     home page
 

Caroline Carver       Gill Fothergill       Dorrie Johnson       Melinda Lovell       Nicky Mesch       Carolyn O’Connell       Julie Sampson       Anne Stewart       Maureen Weldon       Claire Williamson       Veronica Zundel      

Caroline Carver

Caroline Carver: I’m not a Jamaican or a Bermudian or a Canadian or even a Cornishwoman but a curious mid-Atlantic mixture of all of these with a bit of Inuit thrown in and therefore somewhat like a coelacanth: confused about origins and the big Why?

Sedna the Sea Goddess

The bird turned into a man
so beautiful
snow lay on his shoulders
like ermine

was he petrel or fulmar?
he didn’t say
 
At first he came
only in dreams
one summer night
lay with her
 
at dawn she left her house
to marry him
 
Who could explain
her father’s rage?
His storms reached
across oceans
 
she knew full joy
only six days     before
 
he killed her husband
threw her in his umiak –
pushed her overboard
when winds frightened him
 
she wouldn’t give in
gripped the boat so hard
he had to chop her fingers off
one by one
did not know
as she sank into her new Kingdom
 
they would transform
become    whales   narwhals   seals   walruses…
 
Among those she loves best
Singing Midshipmen
fish which  like humpback whales
sing to the seabirds
 
make sailors who hear them
believe in mermaids

Caroline Carver

Poem published: Acumen.

Publications:
Three Hares, Oversteps Books, 2009. ISBN 978-1-906856-06-9, £8
Jigharzi An Me, Semicolon Press, 2000. ISBN 0-9533525-2-8, £6.95 (from Caroline)
Bone-Fishing, Peterloo Poets, 2005, ISBN 1-904324-32-0, £7.95

address:
Michaelmas Cottage
14 Passage Hill
Mylor
Cornwall
TR11 5SN
UK
 
web-pages on poetry p f
 
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Gill Fothergill

I have written poetry off and on thoughout my life. Now that I have retired from teaching the urge comes more frequently.

To Pam
The Neighbour I have Never Met

I read your cook book, its pages stiff
With stains, hand-written notes skewiff,
Fiery sweat and a floury hand.
For you, Pam, nothing frozen or canned.
 
Loved wife, I know you only by repute.
He lists fondly your every attribute.
Truly, for him, you are just next door,
He will always await your step on the floor.
 
I know you bought fresh produce only
I bet you inspected market stalls closely.
Did you like to chat with with the greengrocer?
Ask the baker to see the loaf up closer?
 
I know that you and he liked walking
And would have seized the chance for talking.
I am sure you analysed the lives
Of children: their husbands and their wives.
 
I’ve seen you in some snapshots:
One young and slender, looking hot
In a black and white garden of your youth.
Can these pictures really reveal your truth?
 
Now Pam, I investigate your book
Searching for something new to cook,
And I can clearly hear your helpful voice
As you talk me through your recipe choice.
 
 
 
      I have decided to put poems that are very far from perfect (as if!) on my page. If I wait to achieve my best, it will never happen! Apologies for some poor scansion.

Gill Fothergill

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Dorrie Johnson

Retired health professional who likes walking and writing poetry; currently working on a longer series of poems.

Unnamed

I can’t say who it was
they closed my eyes
spared me the pennies to keep them closed
smuggled me out at night in a cardboard box
to a field for the living dead
where my carbon
is taken up by dandelions
left me a knife
as grave goods
and folk pass by sometimes
but don’t see
that where the turf is slightly raised
that’s where I am.
 

Dorrie Johnson

e-mail Dorrie Johnson

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Melinda Lovell

Melinda Lovell lives in the Cantal, France. She is much published in magazines The SHOp, The Frogmore Papers, Agenda, etc). Her collections are Walking the Hillside (Waterloo Press, 2015) and Breath and Sap (Chrysalis Poetry, 2018).

Woodlanders

For one August week they robbed me
of my walk, a loop in the woods.
An electric fence skewered the path
to stop their three sheep short
 
An odd economy. They forgot
their patch is an old right of way
for any shade-lover, same clan,
to pass by, hat over eyes
 
Why, with their courtly camps
scoring the glade with chores and games
sitting cool among berries and husks
in their rickety nut palace
 
did they forget my haunting
my scudding through shores of leaves
collecting nothing growing
but the ghosts between the trees?
 

Melinda Lovell

poem first published in Tears In The Fence

Publications: Melinda Lovell's second collection, Breath and Sap (Chrysalis Poetry; June 2018) is now out, and available from Melinda.
collection Breath and Sap, 2018, Chrysalis Poetry, ISBN 978-0-9956800-1-2. Avail from Melinda.
collection Walking the Hillside, 2015, Waterloo Press, ISBN 978-1-906742-64-5. Avail from Melinda. (Also as a Kindle book from Amazon). For 3 video clips of Melinda reading 3 poems from the collection, click on the following link: video readings.

Address:
Inchivala
Rouziers
Cantal, 15600
France
 
Melinda Lovell website
 
e-mail Melinda Lovell

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Nicky Mesch

Nicky Mesch lives in Jersey. Poems in various anthologies and magazines. First collection A Cold Woman was published by The Knives, Forks And Spoons Press in 2012.

Testing Her Metal

But he could be gentle –
the night he turned her
an inch at a time, painstakingly
slotting the panels of her skirt,
the muscled serpent on his arm
lapping salt as he tightened
the unfamiliar studs at her waist,
oiled her shiny new joints,
buffed the cones
on her breastplate
to a blush.
 
She shuddered at the glint
spilling from his calloused hands –
waist-length wiry coils,
curly copper lashes,
perfect O for a mouth –
and tried to catch her breath
but already he was easing
metal around her head
and welding it in place.

Nicky Mesch

Poem published in anthology, In the Telling, Cinnamon Press, ISBN 978-1-9056149-2-9.

Collection: A Cold Woman, The Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-907-81289-7, £7.00.

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Carolyn O’Connell

Four poems have been published in ‘Mirrored Voices’ An Anthology of Emerging Poetsfrom around the world. It was incepted by the American fiction/non fiction author Paul Morabito.

Diamonds

Diamonds fall on glass, rain on the window
patterns of water shimmering in the dawn
not precious gems, eternal settings of graphite
pressed for millennia beneath specific rocks.
Worn by women as tokens of affection, pride
of their menfolk as they sport rich gifts,
the carat of a poor man pledging life
a bauble cast unheeding by the oligarch.
 
One set of diamonds a young mother wore
token not of love but duty to be done
her pledge no to a single man but
to a race she never wished was hers
 
and on that day the diamonds were returned
to wait in silence for another’s brow,
now a lifetime’s past, children then undreamt
walk streets changed beyond concept,
 
all that was sixty years ago.
 

Carolyn O’Connell

Poem published in collection, Timelines, Indigo Dreams, 2014

Collection: Timelines, Indigo Dreams, 2014, ISBN 978-1-909357-53-2, £7.99
Anthology: Mirrored Voices Emerging Poets Anthology, Star Investment Strategies LLC, 2015, ISBN 978-1-5077107-1-5, £6.95.

Tel: 07950 395607
 
web-pages on poetry p f
 
Carolyn O’Connell blog
 
e-mail

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Julie Sampson

Julie Sampson’s poetry has been widely published. Her debut collection Tessitura (Shearsman) came out in 2013. In 2009 she edited Mary Lady Chudleigh, Selected Poems (Shearsman) and she’s currently working on a second collection.

1894; Fran Skating on the Manor Pond

She skates over and around its frozen surface,
then spins a pencil-pirouette,
muffs blue-heat her hands
and from her waist a scarlet whirl of skirt.
In hazy light veins seem to break in olive eyes
as the blades of her boots refract the scratching ice
and under setting sun
her shadow is half a pulsating heart.
 
Ida, in the kitchen sits and snips
the corners of the paper folds.
Brittle like ice.
Deft, her fingers snip and snap then
rippling like a fan the row of skating dolls
holding hand by hand.
 
Robert, in the other room
turns a page.
His book about the Ministry
is a weight upon his mind.
 
His sisters are making their mark;
each enacts a secret lore
on a slated sheet of white,
figure skating on the land of open-space
and inscribing a serrated pictograph.
 
Even the tiny feet of each minute dancing doll
are chipped away to equip them with the sharpest razor cut.

Julie Sampson

The poem was runner-up in the Exeter Poetry Prize 1999; published in anthology Making Worlds; One Hundred Contemporary Women Poets, (Headland, 2003).

Collection: Tessitura, Shearsman Books, 2013, ISBN 978-1-84861-239-6
as editor Mary Lady Chudleigh; Selected Poems, Shearsman Books, 2009, ISBN 978-1-84861-048-4

Julie Sampson website
 
e-mail

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Anne Stewart

Anne Stewart has an MA (Dist) in Creative Writing from Sheffield Hallam University. She founded poetry p f in 2005. She won the Bridport Prize in 2008. Her first collection, The Janus Hour, was published by Oversteps Books in 2010.

Anne is editor of the SecondLightLive web-site and serves on the Second Light Network Committee and as part-time administrator for the Network. (see ‘More’ link below)

Body Language

            "I like the whisker of hair/ under her armpit. It suggests/
            that she’s not one of those women/ who are always trying
            to get rid/ of their smell."
 
                    Vicki Feaver, OI YOI YOI

 

Give me silky legs glistening in the sun,
bikini line and oxters done and no shame
for the dishonest shape-shifter I’ve become.
 
Give me orange and magnolia to bathe away
my scent–when it’s Woman-Ready-for-a-Man,
I’d just as soon my body said "Only if I say".
 
And when I choose to go against the master plan
by coating earthworm lips with New Dawn rose
or copper pink, grape or cherry blossom balm,
 
it’s no more a disguise than wearing clothes.
Or would you have me naked? No deceitful lines
between my vulva and the twitching public nose?

 
Hirsute and unscented may be truth of a kind,
but there are worse things, when you feel exposed,
than silk and oranges, and roses, to hide behind.

Anne Stewart

Poem published: The Interpreter’s House, Nov 03, ISSN 1361-5610, and nominated for Forward Prize, 2004;
Discussed in Mary Michaels’ article How Does Your Poem Smell?, in Connections, Spring 2005 edition.
Strix Varia published Anne’s reflection on the writing of Body Language in their PoetSpeak series.

Collection: The Janus Hour, Oversteps Books, 2010, ISBN: 978-1-9068561-6-8, £8.
Anthology: Ten Hallam Poets, Mews Press, 2005, ISBN: 1-84387-123-8, £7.99.
Glossy illustrated postcards: 2 of Body Language and 2 of Melting into the motorway on the inside lane, £1, from Anne.

20 Clovelly Way
Orpington
Kent
BR6 0WD
 
tel: 07850 537489
 
Anne’s web-site
 
e-mail

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Maureen Weldon

Maureen Weldon’s awards include: Highly Commended, SWWJ, Elizabeth Longford Trophy Poetry Competition, 2006. Her work is published in: Crannog, Poetry Scotland, Snakeskin, Ink Sweat & Tears, Coffee House. Autumn 2014, first pamphlet collection to be published by Poetry Space Ltd.

Midnight Robin

While the sky shimmers like shot silk.
I count the chimneypots,
1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
 
On my kitchen table, sheets and sheets
of screwed up poems.
Tomorrow I’ll flatten them
for shopping lists.
 
While perfumed smells of hyacinths
bring memories of my mother;
‘they make lovely Christmas presents’
she would say, as she potted and tended.
 
The evening moves along.
The moon a half golden bracelet.
The sky cluttered with stars.
 
All is still. No cars. No trains.
And in this stillness,
the midnight robin sings.
 

Maureen Weldon

Poem published in Crannog 18, 2008, ISSN 1649-4865;
and in Bolts of Silk, 2013

Publications:
Breakfast at Kilumney, 2010, Poetry Monthly Press, ISBN 978-1-9063573-1-3. £5;
Earth Tides, 2002, Poetry Monthly Press, ISBN 1-90303-12-9. £4;
To Change These Hours, 2004, Kite Modern Poetry Series, ISBN 0-907759-39-4. £5.95;
Of Crossed Wires, 1996, Wire Poetry Booklet Series, ISBN 1-900462-60-5. £4;
Leap, 1993, Envoi Poets Publications, ISBN 1-874161-01-1. £5

Address:
14 Green Park
Connagh’ Quay,
Deeside
Flintshire
CH5 4QJ
 
Tel: 01244 822366
 
e-mail Maureen Weldon

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Claire Williamson

Claire Williamson is a poet and Programme Leader for Metanoia Institute’s MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. Claire has been widely published in journals and works as a freelance creative writing facilitator with adults and children.

The Hippocrene

     for Nick
 
At last
you are Pegasus
with wings strong enough to carry you
to the heavens.
I hear their rhythm
in my dreams like sonnets.
 
You are like the mare
who destroys mercifully.
You have killed yourself
and saved me.
 
Before you left
your stomping hooves
dug out the hippocrene
in the shape of a crescent moon.
 
Now I stoop on my knees to drink.
The well is deep
my cupped hands run over
with inspiration.
 
The hands that wished
they’d held your hand
as you snorted and stamped the air
as you turned from man into a flying horse.
 

Claire Williamson

This poem is the prelude to Claire’s first collection, Ride On.

Poem published in Agenda, 2005

Publications:
Visiting the Minotaur, Seren Books, 2018. ISBN 978-1-7817244-3-9
The Soulwater Pool, narrative poetry collection, Poetry Can, 2008. ISBN 0-9539234-4-1
Ride On, narrative poetry collection, PoTA Press, 2005. ISBN 0-9526432-6-X

Claire Williamson website
 
e-mail Claire Williamson

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Veronica Zundel

I am a freelance writer for the Christian market, have been writing poetry for over 40 years and had 40-45 poems published in anthologies and magazines. Now learning a lot with the Poetry School online and thinking about submitting to poetry journals.

‘Dear God, all the children can run except me’

Most children come out right. They come with all
their arms and legs, ten fingers
and ten toes, their brains
wired up the ordinary way.
They go to Brownies and have sleepovers,
they learn ballet and Tae Kwon Do,
they do the Duke of Edinburgh’s award.
No one avoids them, or their mothers
in the playground. When they grow up
they have good jobs, and partners
and get on the property ladder.
 
But you were never most children, and
never will be, your whole life long
my damaged, precious boy,
my baton passed to the future, my fear, my joy.
 

Veronica Zundel

Publications:
Going Out, Hodder 1990
Faith in her Words: six centuries of women’s poetry, Lion 1991
The Time of our Lives, BRF 2007
Crying for the Light, BRF 2008
All I know about God, I’ve learned from being a parent, BRF 2013

Veronica Zundel website
 
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