Featured Poets, March 2019                     home page
 

Angela Kirby       Caroline Gill       Dilys Wood       Helen Ivory       Jennie Osborne       Lesley J Ingram       Marion Tracy       Myra Litton       Robyn Curtis       Victoria Gatehouse      

Angela Kirby

Angela Kirby was born in rural Lancashire and lives in London. She has a D.Phil in Creative Writing from Sussex University, gives regular readings in the UK and abroad, and her poems have won prizes in several major competitions and are widely published.

Trizonia

O most excellent donkey who,
not having heard of the sleep button,
woke me three times this morning
with your ancient and execrable lament,
do you bemoan the start
of your over-burdened day
and the end of your brief night’s rest
in this unpromising patch of scrub
or do you, perhaps, grieve for me
who today must leave this incomparable islet
where there are neither cars
nor motorcycles, where nothing
very much happens, apart
from the occasional birth or marriage
and the rather more frequent deaths,
where there is little to see, just Iannis
repainting the peeling mermaid
on his taverna, and his grandmother
taking a broom to the six hollow-ribbed cats
who have stolen yet another chicken-leg,
and the three old men who,
having finished their backgammon
and the last of the ouzo, now take
the sun’s path home across the harbour
in a boat as blue as that clump of scabious
you are considering?

Angela Kirby

published in anthology, Speaking English, Five Leaves Press, 2007

Publications:
collection, The Days After Always, new and selected poems, Shoestring Press, 2015, £12, ISBN 978-1-910323-38-0
collection, A Scent of Winter, Shoestring Press, 2013, £9, ISBN 978-1-907356-67-4
collection, Dirty Work, Shoestring Press, 2008, £8.95 incl p&p, ISBN 978-1-904886-83-9
collection, Mr Irresistible, Shoestring Press, 2005, £8.95 incl p&p, ISBN 1-904886-19-1 (2008: 2nd re-print)

121 Hurlingham Road
London
SW6 3 NJ
 
tel: 020-7736-3965
 
web-pages on poetry p f
 
e-mail Angela Kirby

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

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Caroline Gill

Caroline Gill won 1st Prize in the Petra Kenney Poetry Competition (gen. section) in 2007. Her poem, Preseli Blue, featured on BBC Poetry Please from the Guardian Hay Festival 2008. Poems published in UK, India, Romania & USA. Home: Swansea.

Elegy for Idris Davies

Who hears the bells of Rhymney as they toll?
There are no drams to draw along the tracks:
the empty tarmac waits for laden trucks,
but hollows in the hillside tell their tale.
 
The winch and winder man have long since gone:
deserted pits are crudely steeped in slag.
Would Shelley’s spirit ring out once again
if flames of silver leaped to greet the lark?
 
A sloping cemetery will testify
to times when angry voices could be heard.
An echo rises from the Rhymney bard:
it rocks and rolls a piercing lullaby.
 
The grass is brown: brass bands have lost their sheen,
but April’s music trickles down the rill.
A shaft of sun makes rainbow-puddles shine
in terraced streets, to light the poet’s trail.
 
Allotments snake along the mountain road,
with weathered water butts of blue and green.
A raven waits while seeds of hope are sown,
but wigwam-canes stand vacant and betrayed.
 
A poet plants his footsteps in the mire,
through furnaces and forges razed to soil.
Bare strips of sky and horizontal moor
arouse defiant voices in his soul.
 
Stonemasons shed their monumental tears
in mounds below the monkey puzzle’s arm.
A sombre moon cast shadows on the dawn:
a valley dreams beneath the midnight stars.
 

Note: A dram is a cart for carrying coal

Caroline Gill

Poem published: THE SEVENTH QUARRY (ed. Peter Thabit Jones), no.3, Winter 2006. Also on the Poetry Library Southbank Centre Website.

Publications:Six poems in Hidden Dragons / Gwir a Grymus, (Parthian 2004), ISBN 9781902638393, £7.99

Caroline’s website
 
e-mail

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Dilys Wood

Dilys Wood has connections to Wales, Yorkshire, London and Sussex. She returned to writing in late middle-age and founded Second Light in 1994, her interest in greater opportunities for women having been re-inforced by her experience as Secretary of the Women’s National Commission.

Dilys is the founder and organiser of Second Light Network. (see ‘More’ link below)

Mid-wife

A poem is as new as beginnings,
as fresh as the first day at school.
 
A poem is as bright as our admiration
for courage, our respect for freedom.
 
A poem is as early as the first leaf,
as white as the most swan-white cloud.
 
A poem is a drop of rain, a little
convex mirror with the prime of day in it.
 
A poem is so raw, so young that it has grown
no first, second or third skin.

Dilys Wood

Publications:
Antarctica, Greendale Press, 2008 (all proceeds to Second Light Network funds). Direct from Dilys, 5.95.
Women Come to a Death, Katabasis, 1997.

address: 3 Springfield Close
East Preston
West Sussex
BN16 2SZ
 
e-mail

more...

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Helen Ivory

Helen Ivory, poet and visual artist; fourth Bloodaxe Books collection Waiting for Bluebeard (2013). Editor, webzine Ink Sweat and Tears; poetry tutor/Course Director, UEA/WCN online. Hear What the Moon Told Me is a book of collage poems with KFS.

Bluebeard the Chef

You coax the rabbit from its skin,
cradle the bruised flesh ripped with shot.
A deft incision and soon the tiny heart
is in your hand, its stillness
opens up a dark hole in the sky for you.
 
You climb inside
and all the stars are dying eyes
fixed into you like pins.
So you slice each optic nerve
and disappear.
 
The knife completes your hand
with such sweet eloquence
you part recall its amputation
when you were wordless
in your father’s house.
 

Helen Ivory

from Waiting For Bluebeard, 2013, Bloodaxe Books.

 

Publications: Hear What the Moon Told Me (collage poems), 2016, KFS Press, ISBN 978-1-9094438-2-2
Waiting for Bluebeard, 2013, Bloodaxe Books, ISBN 978-1-8522497-5-5
In Their Own Words: Contemporary Poets on their Poetry, (eds Helen Ivory and George Szirtes), 2012, Salt Publishing, ISBN 978-1-9077732-1-1
The Breakfast Machine, 2010, Bloodaxe Books, ISBN 978-1-8522487-3-4
The Dog in the Sky, 2006, Bloodaxe Books, ISBN 978-1-8522471-7-1

Helen Ivory website
 
e-mail Helen Ivory

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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.

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Lesley J Ingram

Born in Doncaster, Lesley lives in Ledbury. She runs the Herefordshire Stanza, and has been printed here and there – is working on everywhere. It may take some time.

Unzipping

This is more than dibbing in, but not quite
rifling through. The zip defensively tooth
and nail, bites, snatching the tremor from my skin,
scratching my rouge noir. Deep breaths.
This has to be against some law.
 
I finger-skim the surface shapes, reading
the contents like braille, a sharp edge, a cold key,
a press of leather, a prickling of guesses.
Time washes in, pools in the notebook
I know holds your days, your
coffee mornings, keep fit classes, chemo
 
dates. Your variations in temperature.
I recognise your lipstick mirror by the ring
of bling round its top. I can’t open it.
I would see you. Drowning in your Youth
Dew, choking in your tissues and
mini-sudukos, half-dying
 
in the deeping and the laws
of nature … I see you shake your head.
‘Dive in’, you say, ‘dive in – we have no secrets
you and me’. Already half way round
the bend I nod. Had. You mean had.

Lesley J Ingram

* written for the theme ‘Into the Deep’

Poem published: Mslexia, April 2010

Publication:
Scumbled, 2015, Cinnamon Press, ISBN 978-1-909077-72-0, £8.99

Lesley J Ingram website
 
e-mail Lesley J Ingram

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Marion Tracy

Marion Tracy has an MA in English Literature and has been writing her own poetry for about 6 years. She’s been published by 14 Magazine, ARTEMISpoetry, Mslexia, Obsessed With Pipework, Poetry Express, Poetry Wales, Scintilla and Tears in the Fence.

Stones

He hears a sound, plip plop. It’s small stones thrown
or wet insects on glass. The noise is getting bigger.
It sounds as if stones are being shovelled onto the house.
He asks his cousin if she’s experienced anything like this.
 
He frowns when she says, It must be possums.
He smiles when his neighbour says, Perhaps it’s like
when my wife left me.
He laughs when his wife says,
Yes, I’ve been hearing it for a while, it’s like memories of home.
 
He looks up through the leaves of the tree.
Stones are coming down through the branches.
Stones are bouncing off each branch in turn.
Stones are plums falling down like blue stars.
 
His neighbour looks and says, Who can be responsible?
Is it the work of clever children?
His cousin gasps and says,
Is it the work of aliens, these bright disks as they fall?
Is it, asks his wife, all the words that need saying?
 
In the room, the stones are all over the bed.
The stones are all over the rug but there’s no holes
in the ceiling. He looks up and there’s no footprints on the roof.
The stones are raining down and he asks his cousin,
 
Why do the stones not fall straight down but seem to turn in the air?
He asks his neighbour, Why do the stones have no shadow?
Why do the stones fall on my house and not on yours?

Why, laughs his wife, it’s all the stones that ever got stuck in my shoe.
 

Marion Tracy

Poem published: Poetry Review Vol 103:1 Spring 2013.

Pamphlet Collection: Giant in the Doorway, HappenStance Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-905398-3-1, £4.

e-mail

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Myra Litton

Myra Litton: I have only been doing creative writing continuously for four years, but am enjoying it. I still need to do more courses and practice to improve.

Ripples of a Life

Ripples multiplying on the pond from my Olympic hurl
Remind me of the domino theory
Like the tree bark with its concentric rings
All showing the consequences of cause and effect
Of action, nature and ageing
I looked in the water not as healthy as it should be
And see the ducks swimming around the mother duck
Reminding one of a biology lesson
Of symbiosis
Unlike my relationship with Sue referred to Emotions Anonymous for unhealthy co-dependent relationships
I berate my having that last curry and one too many beers on a ‘study night’ for my Finals
And being spotted in the early hours by Sue’s friend Amy snogging a girl outside a club
Sue of the traumatised childhood and trust issues
I should have been clever enough to know everything gets around a small town
Now bereft I watch the ripples knowing that my own life is mutating before my eyes
A future of ongoing solitary walks and regrets
 

Myra Litton

Poem published in Rhyme and Reason Diary, 2014, Rennie Grove Hospice Care

Publications:
Diaries, 2014/15/16/17/18, Rennie Grove Hospice Care. order 2018 here;
Between the Lines, 2017, anthology, City Lit, please pick up from City Lit reception;
Camden/Lumen anthologies Prodding the Pelt (2017); Genius Floored: Uncompassed (2016), Salmon Poetry; Notes while waiting (2015) and Whispers in Smoke (2014), Soaring Penguin Press;
I am Woman, 2012, anthology, Vol2 ebook, available at Amazon;
Tally Koren song Positive, written from Myra Litton poem: listen to the song at SoundCloud

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Robyn Curtis

Robyn Curtis is a poet and photographer living in Derbyshire where she frequents the hills and the cafes for places to find poems and pictures.

Arachne

See me now, a loathsome lob,
mantling the May
shrouding September in lurex knit,
each intricate design
mathematically marked
with my own round cob of a body.
 
My thread finer than any goddess’ silk,
its ductile strength bears the weight of creation;
my colours, luminous in sun-spectrum,
silvered by moonlight.
What do Athene’s dull-dyed wools have on me now?
 
I knew the game was up,
put the noose of silk around my own neck;
no one gets to outshine the gods, not even
with such displays of stunning craft.
 
But a quiver of my spinnerets
and a never-ending trail unreels –
lines for tightrope-walking; I tread out a trapeze web
maybe a funnel to catch a passing mite
or a sheet where a fly lands with heavy foot
and like a bite on an angler’s line
I am jerked awake to wrap it fast.
 
My web-work decorates the world –
all gods and mortals know its brilliance;
 
how each filament catches the dew
drop reflecting drop reflecting drop
and the whole world caught in its mirrors;
 
how my cobweb gauze can heal;
how patiently my many styles of silk
unreel in the night; I have my uses.
 
No one gets to outshine the gods –
but I have the last laugh
as I fling a line
into the glass air of morning.
 

Robyn Curtis

Poem published in Dawntreader Issue 40

e-mail Robyn Curtis

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Victoria Gatehouse

Victoria Gatehouse lives in West Yorkshire and has an MA in Creative Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University. Her poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies including Mslexia, Magma, The Rialto, Poetry News, The Interpreter’s House, Prole, Furies and Her Wings of Glass. Victoria won the Ilkley Festival Poetry competition in 2011 and was a runner up in the Mslexia Single poem competition in both 2014 and 2015.

Widow

     Following the death of her husband, artist Suzie MacMurray
     created a dress made entirely of pins.

 
You’ll find me glittering in doorways
waiting, like a bride, to snag everyone’s eye.
 
As a bride, I stood through countless fittings
knew the hopeful calculations of the measuring tape –
 
now I’ve taken shears to dreams, watched beads
of blood swell and break on the fingertips
 
of those who re-stitched the seams. Watch me
thread my way across the room. In my wake,
 
a shivering train, the clicking grief
of one hundred thousand adamantine pins.
 
From a distance they’re glossy with light,
lie like a pelt. Touchable. Come closer –
 
held in the smooth weight of each head,
a fleck of memory, the tight edge of a tear.
 

Victoria Gatehouse

Poem published in Mslexia, 2014; in anthology Her Wings of Glass, Second Light Publications, 2014

e-mail Victoria Gatehouse

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