Featured Poets, November 2018                     home page
 

Angela Platt       Barbara Dordi       Denise McSheehy       Dorrie Johnson       Hilaire       Jenna Plewes       Kathy Miles       Marg Roberts       Merryn Williams       Nicola Warwick       Sue Moules       Vivienne Fogel      

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 Platt

Angela Platt’s poems appear in many anthologies & magazines (Orbis, Spokes, The Interpreter’s House & others). She runs creative writing groups and is Poetry Soc. Newsport STANZA rep. Her poem Skydive won 3rd in the Prole Laureate competition, 2020.

Imager of Light

I’m left here to silence
rusting in the rain.
 
Sun sinking fast, tree shadows
darken. Leaves and grasses fan
a cool breeze and darkling motes,
black shapes stirring.
 
Night creatures may disturb
my hide, dislodge me from
the solid branch you placed me on.
 
If I should fall, those images
you took such care to make
would shatter … your running laughing
children sliding dunes at Merthyr Mawr.
 
Footprint hollows shrink, elide.
Soon it will be as if they’d never been,
here at play on this one day.
 
The leaden sky above me fills
with ragged cloths. Night sounds
unnerve. Children’s likenesses
inside, but they are curled at home
asleep and may not grow in me.
 
That long same day, it’s dark.
You’ve come! How could I doubt?
You hunt carefully, recall at last
beside which tree you’d stood
freezing the tumbling laughter
with a click.
 
Fingers inch the knobbled branch
cold metal edge
find leather skin pulled tight,
retrieving my box-shaped frame.
Old friend, my clip fits your finger-stub
as if another limb.
 
You wipe away my tear,
sling my strap across your marbled shoulder,
march the long miles forward
into memory.

Angela Platt

Imager of Light, in collection Crossing the Bloodline

Publications:
Crossing the Bloodline 2020, Cinnamon Press, ISBN 978-1-78864-900-1
39 jazz poems featured in Jazzrounds 1994-2003, ISSN 1465-1319
Percussion of Living, 2001, Green Corner Press, ISBN 0-9-54022-00-9
I Like to Imagine, self-published pamphlet, 1994
Introduction to Sexism in the Secondary Curriculum (chapter), ed Janie Whyld, 1981,
Harper & Rowe, ISBN 0-0-63182-51-3

Angela Platt website
 
enquiry to Second Light

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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

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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

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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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Hilaire

Hilaire is co-author with Joolz Sparkes of London Undercurrents. She was poet-in-residence at Thrive Battersea in 2017 and Highly Commended in the 2019 Live Canon International Poetry Prize. She writes and gardens in Battersea.

The Sheffield Man

Was it only our family he visited
at dead of night? Slipping bone-handled knives,
dimpled thimbles, an heirloom coffee spoon,
into his felt-lined pockets. His thefts small,
intermittent, occasionally reversed.
Look what’s turned up under the sink!
Triumphant, Dad held aloft a pewter
napkin ring, long lost. This was not
the stuff of nightmares.
 
Grown up, abroad, I found the Sheffield Man
unknown amongst my peers – a family quirk,
a joke I only got in retrospect.
 
But now he’s back and he’s greedy,
working daylight hours behind my mother’s back.
The peg tin, can opener, keys. Her reading glasses.
All magicked away out of sight.
He’s even filched the whatchamacallit
and the reason she first needed it.
 
I stab pins into a Sheffield Man doll
even though I know there’s no reversing
this final vanishing act.
 

Hilaire

Highly commended in the Red Shed Open Poetry Competition 2018 and published in The Quality of the Moment competition pamphlet, Currock Press

Publications:
indoors looking out, lower case press, 2020 ISBN: 978-1-5272-6319-2 £5
London Undercurrents,, Holland Park Press, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-907320-82-8 £10
Triptych Poets: Issue OneBlemish Books, 2010 ISBN: 978-0-9807556-1-9
Hearts on Ice, Serpent’s Tail, 2000 ISBN: 1-852426-63-2

Hilaire’s website
 
e-mail

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Jenna Plewes

Jenna Plewes lives in Worcestershire, belongs to Cannon Poets and escapes to Devon whenever she can. Her poems appear in several anthologies, including Heart Shoots (for Macmillan Cancer Support). She was highly commended in the Hastings International Competition 2012.

Leave Me in the Light

When I die
don’t put me underground
cut down a giant oak
as they did
four thousand years ago
 
pull out the stump
drag it across the wide salt marsh
with honeysuckle ropes
upend it where the curlews call
 
lay me across its outstretched hand
under the sun, the moon
the turning stars
 
encircle me in
fifty trunks of oak
each split in two
fold a seamless skin of bark around my bier
 
leave me the smell of fresh cut wood
the shine of pale oak flesh
the sound of wind and tide
 
birds will clean my bones
midsummer’s rising sun will
find me through the keyhole of the east
and when midwinter sunrise looks for me
I will be gone.
 

 
 
Seahenge on the Norfolk coast is a prehistoric monument built in the 21st century BC.

Jenna Plewes

Winning poem in the Sampad competition and published in their anthology Inspired by my Museum.

Publications:
Pull of the Earth, 2016, Indigo Dreams Publishing, ISBN 978-1-9108340-6-0, £8.99 +p&p
Gifts, 2014, CreateSpace, ISBN 978-1-4953944-0-9 £5 – proceeds to charity (buy direct from Jenna Plewes)

Jenna Plewes website
 
e-mail

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Kathy Miles

Kathy Miles is a librarian and poet who has lived and worked in Wales since 1972. Her work has frequently appeared in magazines and anthologies. She is a Writer on Tour, and member of the Red Heron performance group.

The Gift

She took it in both hands.
Examined it to see its colour, the quality,
what she might expect of it.
A surprise, she said, but still she smiled,
pale against the whiteness of the bed,
the wrappings from her present
scattered on the floor like a spilt
phial of pills. There was ribbon,
of course, a yellow bow, a card.
The air smelt of red carnations
and something else, something sweeter.
 
Her breath was a pearl in the hot room,
a slipstream too slight to stir a bee’s wing.
And the flowers were difficult,
competed with her for the sliver of air.
Her hands fussed over the covers
astonished fingers slid over silk.
And my gift, that small bequest
I took back home
was the moment our fingertips touched
and the air was brimming.
 

Kathy Miles

Poem published in Envoi, Issue 164 February 2013

Publications:
The Shadow House, 2009, Cinnamon Press;
The Third Day: Landscape, 1993, Gomer Press
Word, 1993, Gomer Press
The Rocking-Stone, 1988, Poetry Wales Press

e-mail Kathy Miles

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Marg Roberts

Marg Roberts has been reading and writing poetry for about 15 fifteen years. She lives in Leamington Spa and loves cycling, gardening and family.

Praise to the hawthorn on the boundary of Chandos Street car park

Those moments when you open
to this morning’s blue and its retreating clouds
 
this symphony of sparrows    endless
fluttering of feathers   of feeding.
 
Those moments when under your shade
a baby is soothed in her mother’s arms
 
school kids scoot   skateboard   trudge
office workers balance coffee-to-go
 
croissants under heavy or light shoulders
hearts   gay   weary   counting days to
 
weekends. And above   pigeons like angels
almost suspended    skilled at drifting
 
at dozing in your branches after gorging
on blossom. And Paul asleep in his tent
 
under the ticket machine    water bottle parked
on top of his unfinished thriller    smell
 
 
of his last smoke. All this being    breath
non-breath this earthiness   this sky
 
this mix
and you a part of it.
 

Marg Roberts

Marg Roberts blog
 
e-mail Marg Roberts

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Merryn Williams

Merryn Williams’ life is currently divided, like ancient Gaul, into three zones – literary, family, Jeremy. She was first editor of The Interpreter’s House, which published around a thousand poets, and her own publications are too numerous to list.

P.N.D.

     post-natal depression
 
One fell off the fragile bridge,
others froze in horror.
Far below them, howling winds
and glimpse of raging water.
 
Four young women shared a house,
partied, shrieked with laughter.
All got married, scattered wide.
Three go on without her.
 
Driving rain, on clothes and skin;
you feel the great bridge shudder.
The baby knows there’s something wrong,
stares round and sees no mother.
 
Three go home. All night they weep;
why did no one save her?
while each, in fear, bears step by step,
a child across the water.
 

Merryn Williams

Poem published in Acumen and in The Fragile Bridge (see Publications)

Publications:
The Fragile Bridge: New and Selected Poems, Shoestring Press, 2019;
The First Wife’s Tale, Shoestring Press, 2007;
Jane Austen’s The Watsons, Pen Press, 2006;
The Latin Master’s Story, Rockingham Press, 2000;
The Chalet Girls Grow Up, Plas Gwyn Books, 1998

Address:
19 The Paddox
Oxford
OX2 7PN
 
tel: 01865 511259
 
Merryn Williams website
 
web-pages on poetry p f.
 
e-mail

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Nicola Warwick

Nicola Warwick has had work in several magazines and competition anthologies. She has published two full collections. In 2018 she was awarded an MA in Creative Writing from the Open University.

Muntjac

At heart, I am a small deer
crossing a quiet lane.
You are always the driver
in a dark car
riding the bends.
You are pressed for time
so we meet
for the inevitable.
I always yield
to the force of steel,
rupturing the parts
I should have kept protected.
You continue,
a little winded,
metal scraping tarmac,
a crunch of gears.
I am left twitching
at the side of the road,
hoping you will catch me
in your mirror
when you look back.
 

Nicola Warwick

published in collection Groundings, 2014, Cinnamon Press

Publications:
The Knifethrower’s Wishlist, 2017, Indigo Dreams
Groundings, 2014, Cinnamon Press

 

e-mail Nicola

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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.

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Vivienne Fogel is not currently a Member of Second Light.

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