Featured Poets, May 2018                     home page
 

Marion Ashton       Amanda-Jane Burrell       Cora Greenhill       Kaye Lee       Jane McLaughlin       Sue Moules       Liz Parkes       Mary Anne Smith       Nicola Warwick       Margaret Wilmot       Pam Zinnemann-Hope      

Marion Ashton

Marion shuttles between Lincolnshire and Houston, Texas. She works as an English tutor. Recently completed an MA in Poetry with Royal Holloway. Widely published in magazines and in anthology Glimmer. Currently working on first collection.

Breakdown Pond

Snow-covered park – a pale sun
pokes thin fingers through the rowans,
scribbling shadows at our feet.
 
Last week’s storm strewed the ground
with branches, turned the paths to mud;
today only our footprints blot the whiteness.
 
We stop at the pond, iced over but for
a black circle, blurred grey at the edges -
the pupil and iris of a blind eye.
 
We’re strangers – just cards at Christmas –
an age since university. Ruth shifts
her weight from foot to foot, staring
 
into the black hole, groping through
the years for the first words of her story.
The crack of a twig splits the silence:
 
a cock pheasant stepping from a bush.
We watch its jutting head stab red
and green across the parchment white.
 
High planes drag ragged chalk across
the slate-grey sky. Words sink and drown.
We turn to retrace our tracks in the snow.

Marion Ashton

Poem published in earlier version in Orbis, 2007

Marion at poetry p f
 
e-mail Marion

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

back to top

Amanda-Jane Burrell

Amanda-Jane Burrell has spent the last 30 years travelling the world while working within the fields of education and communication. She spends her time with her self-made extended family in Beirut, Egypt, Cyprus and the UK

Jerusalem

I asked
What happened to Jerusalem?
 
A city that “used to was”
Maybe no more than a dream
Man’s final icon or just a mirage?
A folly perhaps just to charm the innocent
With hope of eternal deliverance.
Remember too the holy wars,
Even with such careless neglect of confidence
And destiny’s early demise
A final fantasy was born
A tragedy in disguise
 
I asked again
What happened to Jerusalem?
 
I remember before … the days
When mushrooms were for breakfast
Rather than orange, luminous and menacing
Raging against the winter sky........
What was that?
I hear a rustle
Nothing but a feral cat
Searching the rubble for the remains
those of some infected rat
 
I ask again: a third and final time
What happened to Jerusalem?
 
A cloud still hangs there
Thankfully the darkness has lost
Its shape and substance
Roads now, alas are smouldering rubble
As the smell of oil and death remains
Still wafting across the hillside
We lived there once,
We cried,
Once upon a time…
Before we died.

Amanda-Jane Burrell

e-mail Amanda-Jane Burrell

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

back to top

Cora Greenhill

Cora Greenhill lives in Derbyshire and Crete, the human/physical landscape of both inspiring her ‘pungent and elemental’ (David Caddy) poetry. Her recent work appears in The North, The New Writer, ARTEMISpoetry, Mslexia, as well as in her new collection.

Slackening

Pouring your muesli helps assuage my guilt
while you get dressed to catch the twelve past eight
knowing I’ll take my tea back to our quilt
still warm, to read. I stay pyjama-ed til quite late
these days. Last week’s storms have stripped the trees.
It’s winter. Easy to find excuses not to swim.
We don’t need Google to tell us it will freeze
again tonight. Easier to sink another evening in.
 
So life winds down in loose, uneasy patterns.
We sort of rationalise our letting go of dreams.
Skin’s surface, like stems of green things, slackens,
but affection does a better job than creams;
while the habit of acceptance makes failing
memories, eyesight, backs, plainish sailing.
 

Cora Greenhill

poem published in The North 73, 2010 and The Point of Waking, 2013.

Publications (from Cora):
Artemis, The People’s Priestess, Three Drops Press, 2017, ISBN 978-1-3269849-5-3 (also avail from Lulu online);
Far from Kind, Pindrop Press, 2016, ISBN 978-0-9573290-8-9;
The Point of Waking, Oversteps Books, 2013, ISBN 978-1-9068564-3-4;
Only in Crete, 2006;
Deep in Time, Dreadful Work Press, 1999, ISBN 0-9514826-1-0

Cora Greenhill blog
 
e-mail

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

back to top

Kaye Lee

An Australian living in North London. Retired from nursing – time now to pursue a love of poetry. Published in various magazines and a prize winner in several competitions.

Hand in Hand

Years ago I held your hands
to guide you on the long
walk to hospital. Beneath
their patches your eyes
oozed tears to wash away
woodchips thrown there
by the giant saw.

Your hands were large,
calloused. Black sap
emphasized lines and folds,
darkened every nail. Skin,
brown and tough from the sun,
still let splinters skewer in –
you’d prise them out with Mum’s
fattest darning needle.

Though I led you, all
the strength of our bond
lay in your hands not
in my small, anxious
eight-year-old fingers.

When I hold your hands again
to help you from your wheelchair
mine are the weathered, rough hands,
yours are Persil white, baby soft.
You do not recall the pain
of penetrating wood and your hands,
calm, delicately trusting, accept
that now the strength is mine.

Kaye Lee

email

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

back to top

Jane McLaughlin

‘Tightly-wrought sequences and lyrical pieces … poignant and often surprising’ (Katherine Gallagher). Jane McLaughlin writes poetry and fiction. She has been widely published in magazines/anthologies; her first collection is Lockdown (Cinnamon 2016).

The Lacemaker Travels to Seville

The silver hook slips to and fro.
Dark head bent over red sweater,
in the next seat she nets
a fine white band. Fingers arched,
thumbs steady. Turn of the wrist.
 
The train gallops the latifundios,
Cordoba fades behind golden hills.
Slant orange sun descending
paints white villages, backlights her hair.
The work grows, precise as frost.
 
Her small bones and tendons learnt
this craft from women whose maths
was in their heads, patterns
of chequered mesh, stars, flowers,
eloquent as a Moorish ceiling.
 
It does not need words: the yarn
is hooked into its own language.
In the lexicon of human gestures
her movements mean this and nothing else:
I am making lace.
 
Flowing like high cirrus
it will trim an alb, perhaps,
or christening robe. Maybe
hem a sister’s wedding dress.
A rite begun, tissue of spider’s breath.

Jane McLaughlin

Highly Commended, Torbay Open Poetry Competition, 2015

Publications:
Lockdown, 2016, Cinnamon Press, link
The Abbot’s Cat (e-novella), 2014, Cinnamon Press, (Kindle, avail from Amazon) link
Quintet (poetry), 2005, Cinnamon Press
Quartet (short stories), 2004, Cinnamon Press

twitter &MclaughlinJane3
at Facebook
Jane at poetry p f

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

back to top

Sue Moules

Sue Moules has been published since she was eight. Her work has appeared in several magazines and anthologies; she has taught creative writing (children and adults) and is a Writer on Tour. She lives in Wales and has three children.

Nappies on my Neighbour’s Washing Line

Six weeks before the birth
of her third child, my young neighbour
hangs out great flags of nappies.
 
Peg and dip, peg and dip,
crescents of sky
between the white on white,
 
in her garden of plastic play shapes,
red, yellow, blue,
their strength unbleached by sun.
 
At night she leaves the nappies out.
Moonlight lets through curves of dark,
the white squares glow.
 
Such a row of perfect symmetry,
it stops my breath.

Sue Moules

Poem appears in collection: In the Dream Time.

Publications:
The Moth Box, Parthian, 2013. ISBN-978-1-9098440-7-0, £7.99,
The Earth Singing, Lapwing, 2010. £8
In The Green Seascape, Lapwing, 2009. £7.95
Mirror Image, a joint collection with Norma E Jones, Headland, 2009. £7.95
In The Dream Time, Flarestack, 2006; ISBN 1 900397 91 9. £3
The Copyright of Land, National Poetry Foundation, 2000.

e-mail

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

back to top

Liz Parkes

Liz Parkes lives in Stourbridge West Mids. She has retired from teaching full time to write and live a little! She writes short stories for a group blog, plays and poetry. She has had work published by Offa’s Press and Cannon’s Mouth.

Mow Cop, Staffordshire

On Monday, in Leek Girl’s High
‘I saw you up Mow Cop,’ she said,
‘with a lad.’
 
Across a bowl of washed out sky, suds of clouds float,
  coalesce  below the tail of a high flying jet
and brief shadows sweep the Cheshire plain.
Brown waves of bracken break against the folly walls
and Autumn turns the greens to fire and flame.
My glad, rough boy, his arms around me, pillion tight,
  purrs like a Harley, hot smut in my ear.
And I’m alive, molten as a Dali clock.
 
‘Sorry, not been there, Miss,’ I said,
but I should add,
I wish I had.
 

Liz Parkes

Poem published in The Poetry of Staffordshire., Offa’s Press

e-mail Liz Parkes

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

back to top

Mary Anne Smith

Mary Anne Smith began writing seriously in 2011, and her work has been shortlisted and commended in both national and international competitions. She has read at events in England, Ireland and Italy, and in 2017 co-developed a poetry and music event for the Wise Words Festival in Canterbury.

Out of the City

     In response to Ted Hughes’ poem ‘Cities’
 
I’m glad you took us out of the city when you did,
from all those High Roads and brake-shrieking Hackney cabs
from Routemaster rumblings, the clack clack of surface railways,
the whine of the underground, and aircraft sighing slowly over
the haze of exhaust fumes and chimney smoke, hanging above it all.
 
If we had stayed, where would I find my poems now –
in the narrow spaces between the tower block and the terrace,
in the ranks of identical bicycles slanted by the station, gaps in
the cafe chains, or flickers of light in all those heavy-eyed hotels?
 
Instead of knowing the words of birdsong, or finding lines in
the striations of petals or whispered by trees, I’d read the tags
of graffiti or pick up throwaway lines from the gutter, find some
iridescence in the oily rainbows arcing across the tarmac.
 
I might trawl fresh ideas from the sameness of the river,
pan for gold in light reflected under piers and bridges,
find resonance in the church bells and clock chimes, or a
rhyme in the iambic pentameter of trains crossing points.
 
I could trace each changing statement of the skyline and
rewrite it in a plainer text, block out the shifting silhouettes
against the polluted blue of the night sky, then by dawn be
the one light still shining, the dying candle I once held out for you.
 

Mary Anne Smith

Poem commended in the Elmet Poetry Prize, 2016;
published in competition anthology and online at Elmet Trust website

Tel: 07754 701278
 
Mary Anne Smith website
 
e-mail Mary Anne Smith

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

back to top

Nicola Warwick

Nicola Warwick lives in Suffolk and works in local government. She has had poems in several magazines and was a finalist in the Cinnamon Press Poetry Collection Awards in 2010.

You hated those plums

They frightened you, the plums
I bought; the blood-raw hue,
foreign skin, the wet
of the edges where I cut one open
and displayed it like two chambers
of a heart. Forgive me –
I didn’t mean to kickstart
your tension headache.
I was at home with them –
childhood memories
of skinning knees as I climbed
the tree to pick them.
I should not have played that trick
and peeled one, cold from the fridge,
while, eyes closed, you held out your palm
so you thought you were nursing
an eyeball. Wide-eyed, you caught
the stains on my hands
as if I were Lady Macbeth.
I’m so very sorry. I can’t explain –
I’ll go now and buy apples,
a punnet of peaches, or chance you
with a mango, you new soul,
you greenhorn, you remarkable fruit virgin.
 

Nicola Warwick

Poem published: Iota 89, May 2011

Address:
17 Glencoe Road
Ipswich
Suffolk
IP4 3PS
  
e-mail Nicola

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

back to top

Margaret Wilmot

Born in California, now living in Sussex. I am drawn by imaginative associations… memory, landscape, ideas, paintings, words. Writing, for me, is a tool for seeing; making connections, refining perception, always a search, some kind of amorphous truth the goal.

Clay-Lady

1
 
As Eve
 
The clay-lady steps forth
innocent as the child whose hands fashioned
arm-paws, hair-cape, the apple
she raises high as a chalice.
 
Her awkward radiance proclaims
a miracle: the first apple!
 
Salt-shine sprinkles her frock. A smile
cracks wide her face, emits kiln-light, and in its glow
we too see miracles:
 
a lump of clay – and look –
 
 
2
 
In Amsterdam
 
A clay-lady moves through
pewter streets. Her salt-freckled frock shimmers;
she leans high into her apple.
 
The burghers’ narrow hammered houses
cannot contain this fire-fangled clay. A smile cracks
wide her face, emits kiln-light.
 
 
3
 
In New York on a winter afternoon
 
The apple-woman sits
in the pewter chair, moon dimming in her lap.
Dusk filters through the gritty window,
absorbs, effaces
 
her salt-grey skirts, the strong dough-grey arms.
Her fire-fangled yearning salts
the moon with light.
 

Margaret Wilmot

Poem published in ARTEMISpoetry, Issue 8, May 2012

web-pages on poetry p f
 
e-mail

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

back to top

Pam Zinnemann-Hope

On Cigarette Papers, Pam Zinnemann-Hope’s debut collection, was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize. It was adapted by her for the Afternoon Play on radio 4 in which she also acted. She runs poetry seminars near Dorchester.

Marriage to Lazar – 1905

On the day my bankrupt father married me off
the luck sat more in my husband’s cup
than mine, believe me. Lazar broke the glass
for us in Krakow; a broken glass
is meant to bring you luck. But I’d already
turned my back on my dreams, cut up
my ball-gown stitched with seed pearls,
the dumb song-birds on my own embrodiery;
I spoke sternly to my tiny stubborn heart;
I stood straight with Lazar under the canopy;
I dropped my eyes to his uncultured vowels.
What could I do while the gold band slid
onto my finger? Make a secret vow:
never forgive my father, or fall in love.

Pam Zinnemann-Hope

in collection On Cigarette Papers, Ward Wood, 2012

Publications:
On Cigarette Papers, Ward Wood, 2012, ISBN 978-0-9568969-8-8
Who’s In The Next Room, HappenStance, 2010, ISBN 978-1-9059395-1-0
4 Ned books, Walker Books, 1986/7/8, ISBN 978-0-744 5062-6-6 (& 3 following)
NW15, Anthology of New Writing, Granta, 2007

e-mail

Pam Zinnemann-Hope at Ward Wood

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

back to top