Featured Poets, May 2019                     home page
 

Angela Croft       Clare Crossman       Fokkina McDonnell       Jamie Dedes       Jenny Hamlett       Lynne Wycherley       Mimi Khalvati       Pam Zinnemann-Hope       Vivienne Tregenza      

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, Jennie Osborne, Mimi Khalvati, Lottie Kramer, Gill McEvoy (read by Anne Stewart), Maggie Norton, Elizabeth Soule, Jill Townsend, Marion Tracy and Fiona Ritchie Walker
 
Select and listen here               Poets of the Month (other dates)  

Angela Croft

Lived in North Wales, Cornwall and London, worked as a journalist – published in a wide range of magazines and anthologies including ‘Ordinary Magic’ and recently commended in the British Red Cross competition which attracted 750 entries worldwide.

Dancing with Chagall

It’s all very well allowing him to fling
you up into the air
your purple skirt waving like a flag
above the rooftops
your feet in the clouds
 
but what will you do if it turns to rain
up in the sky without a hat
 
those strappy shoes, that scrap of cloth
that hardly passes as a blouse
slipping off your shoulder
to show your luminous skin
your fragile bones
 
him with fire in his eyes clasping
your hand as if he’d never let you fall
 
and you so very, very brittle
 

Angela Croft

First published in the French Literary Review

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

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Clare Crossman

Clare Crossman grew up in Cumbria and now lives with her husband near Cambridge. She runs poetry workshops for various school and community groups with START Arts and CCC. She has an MA in Theatre Studies, and loves being involved with poetry in performance.

The Winter Crown
(poem at Christmas)

From the small wood, I cut spiked sloes,
regal and hardy, against winter’s grain.
 
I threaded them through the willow ring,
wired on a paper butterfly, woven with gold silk.
 
I tied on foil stars, for girls with glittering bracelets,
silver pendants dropping from their ears.
 
Pine and sandalwood for boys
in dinner suits, dignified and tall as trees.
 
I placed it in the church porch beside the others.
Who had chosen laurel, lilies to lie on stone.
 
Ribbons of blue and green for first love,
to keep the memory of the lost, the dead.
 
Ghosts, amongst twisted strands of bryony stalk,
as dry as straw, and the red dogwood canes.
 
The light inside was gold, all the lead lights lit.
Carols rang, for miracles, (how a lemon tree flowers in December).
 
An old man died, bombs blasted lives away,
a child was found in a dark hole.
 
Those unbroken circles,
that catch and hold how we connect.
 
In the hope of angels passing over,
to reach across borders with their wings
 
where all crowns are barbed with distance.

Clare Crossman

Publications:
The Shell Notebook Poems, in Take 5 04, Shoestring Press.
Fenlight, CD, Sequence of poems and music with acoustic musician, Richard Newman. Performed Cambridge, Norwich, Ely.

tel: 01763 261300
 
e-mail

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Fokkina McDonnell

Fokkina McDonnell was born in the Netherlands, but has lived in the UK for most of her adult life. Her poems have been broadcast, and published in over 20 anthologies and magazines, including Orbis, The North, Mslexia, Magma and Poetry News.

The twins have set up a tattoo parlour

Some say it was self-inflicted;
he was tired of his demanding job.
Cosmo says he lost the right arm
in an accident at sea. He asks
me to sign a short disclaimer.
Damian is upstairs doing admin.
Cosmo pulls out a handful
of small beetles, insects, dragonflies
from the pockets on his legs.
I find it hard to choose among
swirling grey wings, shuttling black.
I thought a swift or starling?
Cosmo looks doubtful. He can
do a crow from memory. Yellow
eyes, curved beak, he says,
plucky legs. I can only nod.
 

Fokkina McDonnell

Poem published in Strix 3, Spring 2018.

Publications:
Another Life, 2016, Oversteps Books, ISBN 978-1-9068566-7-0

Fokkina McDonnell website
 
e-mail Fokkina McDonnell

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Jamie Dedes

Brooklyn born, Jamie Dedes, now in Northern California and published widely, is Poet Laureate of Womawords Literary Press (Africa-based international), curator of The Poet by Day (info hub for writers and poets) and Founder/Editor of “The Bezine”.

Beyond Yearning to Hope

     Dedicated to the Senator Bernie Sanders, running for
     the Democratic nomination for president of the United States

 
The dreams can drive you crazy sometimes
The ones that envision a just world, one
Where equity is the backbone of endurance
A vineyard of bliss, so to speak, a garden of joy
Relative to the greed times of unworthy living
In a penthouse with a golden toilet, while
Others sleep on cardboard outside, urinating
In the streets, begging for lunch and walking
Barefoot in the snow, betrayed from day one
By the false ideal of rugged independence,
Of monied might is alright, of resource hording
By the richest and unconscionable trafficking of
Children for the unhinged pleasures of the elite
Oh my God, how did this happen? and who
Might have thought that the munitions factory
Of a deadly virus would bring us nose to nose?
How COVID-19 recognizes no bank account or
Prestigious position, just drops its noxious tidbits
Indiscrimanently, into lungs of princes, prime ministers
Those sleeping rough on city streets, its travels
Enhanced by an uneven distribution of access
To water, healthcare, space, living wages,
Paid time off, the rudiments of a civilized life
Girded by compassionate societies, lessons
Learned, we await implementation, and
Dare we move beyond yearning to hope
 

Jamie Dedes

Originally published in Brave Voices journal

Jamie Dedes blog: The Poet by Day
Jamie Dedes The Poet by Day Facebook page
Monthly Arts e-zine The BeZine

 
e-mail Jamie Dedes

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Jenny Hamlett

Jenny Hamlett has an MA in creative writing, has facilitated writing workshops and was Poet in Residence for Cassies, a garden on the Isle of Wight. She organised Penzance Poetry Society Stanza and is the current Treasurer of Moor Poets in Devon.

The Grey Mare’s Waterfall

     Kinlochleven
 
Discovered late evening
                the fall
is the colour of a woman’s hair
 
as she strides
                her last few years.
 
This sheer beauty
                offers no pulling back
 
from the uninhibited
                plunge
down vertical rock
 
a snatching of time,
                hurling it
into the pool.
 
If seconds were iron bars
                she could jam
in the cog wheels of a mill
 
she could not keep them,
                against this grey fall.
 
Better to turn away
                climb
one slow, hard step
 
after another towards
                the winter pass
at Lairigmor.
 

Jenny Hamlett

in collection Playing Alice, Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2017;
previously in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 7, 2011
and Words in Air app, 2013

Publications:
Playing Alice, 2017, Indigo Dreams Publishing, ISBN 978-1-9108343-2-9
Talisman, 2009, Indigo Dreams Publishing, ISBN 978-0-9561991-9-5
The Sandtiger, 1994, Longman, ISBN 0-582-12169-8

Jenny Hamlett at poetry p f
 
e-mail Jenny Hamlett

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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

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Mimi Khalvati

Mimi Khalvati is the founder of The Poetry School, is on the Council of Management of the Arvon Foundation, the Editorial Board of Wasafiri and is a PBS selector. Her latest collection is The Meanest Flower (Carcanet 2007, PBS Recommendation).

The Valley


Through a thin spray of flowers from the valley
(and frailer for the shyness you gave them with),
through sprigs of blue, their minute suns, many
and angled to many corners of the earth,
I saw, not the valley or even the hill
that rose in front of me, but half-imagined
plateaux that lay beyond these disused mills:
meadows waist-high, horizons mountain-rimmed.

Wildflowers grow there in abundance, so many
you could reap armfuls of them, cauldrons
of colour stoked with their dyes, cornflowers, teasels
snarling your hair and on your headscarf, apron,
shirt and shawl, the whole sky would spill a pinny
studded with seeds. But thank you, thank you for these.

Mimi Khalvati

Poem published in collection, The Meanest Flower

Most Recent Publications, all from Carcanet:
The Meanest Flower, 2007. PBS Recommendation. Short-listed for TS Eliot Prize.
The Chine, 2002.
Mimi Khalvati: Selected Poems, 2000.
Entries on Light, 1997.
Mirrorwork, 1995, ACE Writer's Award.

web-site

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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

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Vivienne Tregenza is not currently a Member of Second Light.

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