Featured Poets, Nov 2019                     home page
 

Anne Boileau       Helen T Curtis       Victoria Gatehouse       Ruth Hanchett       Doreen Hinchliffe       Janet Lees       Myra Litton       Lyn Moir       Judith Taylor       Marion Tracy       Christine Vial      

Anne Boileau

Anne Boileau writes poetry about the natural world, the environment, history and her friends and neighbours. Her pamphlet Shoal Moon was published by Grey Hen in 2016. Her novel Katharina Luther – Nun. Rebel. Wife. came out in 2016.

Ghazal: The Memory of Bronze

Within its very substance dwells the memory of bronze.
Smiths at Giza treadling giant bellows forging bronze
 
Two small pyramids back to back, the size of a cricket ball.
Hold it like a seashell, you’ll hear craftsmen beating bronze.
 
Eight sides, eight faces: each displays a different attitude,
But every face and attitude tells the ancient tale of bronze.
 
It waits upon my windowsill, imbibes the heat of the sun,
Within its core remembering well the alchemy of bronze.
 
Take copper with a hint of tin or arsenic or zinc:
You have the stuff of resonance, church bells cast in bronze.
 
Before men thought to write things down, they extracted, analysed
And fired up fearsome forges, smelted ores, created bronze.
 
She weighs Gill’s sculpture in her hand, senses gravity.
Anne has travelled to that Age when Man discovered Bronze.
 

Anne Boileau

This poem was written during a collaboration with Mosaic Stanza in Colchester; eighteen visual artists were paired up with eighteen poets. My partner was a sculptor called Gill Southern. I was responding to her bronze sculpture titled From Fire

published in Stone’s Throw – art from poetry poetry from art, ed. Karen Dennison,
2016, Mosaic Stanza, mosaicpoetry.wordpress.com

Publications:
Katharina Luther – Nun. Rebel. Wife., 2016, Clink Street Publishing, ISBN 978-1-9111106-1-3
Shoal Moon, 2014, Grey Hen Press, ISBN 978-0-9926983-2-4

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Helen T Curtis

Helen T Curtis is a poet and photographer living in Derbyshire. Published in ARTEMISpoetry, Canon’s Mouth, Mother’s Milk Books and recently in Oxford School of Poetry Review where she continues to work towards a first pamphlet.

Crucible

Frame of oak the bark to bear you
boards carved where the green-crowned king
bowed low; offered himself
a vaulted ark, big-hearted.
 
Within,
limbs of willow cradle raked bones
sister-fingers braid a creche for you;
with memory of water, peel and shed
the unsuitable suit;
lie in lattice-weave, bassinet
rocking, lapping, weeping.
 
Extinguished
as your glorious hour receded,
burn again in frankincense
harvested from your red-bone desert
Boswellia
Salalah
the trees’ dripped tears
coil smoke around you, tendrils
soothe, soothe – balm for your flayed skin
 
almond flowers for your lips
blue hibiscus for your eyes
so your children will know you
 
Your essence rises, rich and fragrant;
oud of agarwood – born of corruption
Aquillaria
precious resin from black infection
in the heart-wood
now transmuted.
Breathe now, rare brother
the air in here is sweet.
 
Rest now, oak bears all
blood, bone, breath and grace.
 

Helen T Curtis

Poem published in Oxford School of Poetry Review#1

Tel: 07823 557876
 
Helen T Curtis website
 
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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

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Ruth Hanchett

Ruth Hanchett is a member of the Poetry Society, two stanza groups, The British Haiku Society, Enfield Poets and Second Light. She writes particularly from close observation of people and of herself, exploring social and emotional themes arising.

from ‘Fall’ a sequence of seven poems:

Fall

I
 
I fell as from a great height into another world.
From a flat plane I stared up at the night sky
and moonlike faces which seemed to ponder
my angle on the slab of stone.
In a smudge of morphine I still screamed.
I lost myself, and, subject, patient,
was propelled into a timeless zone.
Rigid in ambulance straps, under lights, I could not
count the hours, could not recognise the place
but entered a country where people in white
told me what to do, what they would do. I heard
the snap of scissors through my new jeans,
heard murmurs that the hip was broken, felt
the catheter slip in, the movements
of shapes in the dark; floating in a hospital gown
I felt the lift into bed, sleep merging into the oblivion
of surgery, the awakening in the ward, the surgeon
above me, It’s gone well, it’s up to you now, but,
for weeks, the systems flowed over me, journeys
took me down dazzlingly long corridors then back
to staring at walls and waiting for visitors
who came like angels and didn’t tell me what to do.
Physiotherapists, lean and smiling, began to nudge me
nearer to myself and I moved towards it.
At home again the ground was rough, uneven
but my steps became discerning. I grew taller,
so much taller.
 

Ruth Hanchett


Pamphlet, Some Effects of Brilliance, 2019, Rafael Q Publishers, ISBN 978-1-901017-20-5, £5.00

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Doreen Hinchliffe

Doreen Hinchliffe has been published widely in anthologies and magazines, including Acumen, Mslexia, Orbis, The Interpreter’s House and Magma. Her first collection, Dark Italics, was published by Indigo Dreams in October 2017.

The Art of Getting Lost

Practise the art of getting lost
in the deepest forest, not knowing where
it ends, like the leaf of an oak tossed
 
on a sudden wind, unaware
of anything except the flight
in dappled sun, the ripples of air,
 
conscious only of slanting light
through branches, of being borne and held,
indifferent to left or right
 
to future or to past, propelled
into the heart of now by powers
unfathomed, unseen, deep in the meld
 
and mould of earth, in its tiny flowers
(bluer than bluebells, whiter than frost)
that lie beyond the counting of hours
 
and the counting of the cost.

Doreen Hinchliffe

Poem published in Acumen, Issue 87

Publications:
The Pointing Star, sonnet sequence, Live Cannon Poems for Christmas CD, ASIN: B01N8Z2E1T
Dark Italics, 2017, Indigo Dreams, ISBN 978-1-910834-58-9

e-mail Doreen Hinchliffe

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Janet Lees

Janet Lees is a poet and artist working primarily with text, photography and film. Her poetry has been widely published and anthologised, she has won prizes in many different competitions, and her poetry films have been selected for a wide range of international festivals.

Reconsecrated

A taste of you slipped into me
like moonlight in a locked church.
The flesh at first left me cold:
respectful fingers, diffident lips
spilling awkward mumbles in
The Angel’s fug. We hunted down
politeness with iced vodka
and flew outside, where the night
took your tongue and gave it to mine,
igniting a flame that swallowed
Soho’s oxygen whole to shape
the way I kissed you back:
adoration of seventeen again,
ablaze with the lost conviction
that this can be a state of grace,
this immaculate need to fuck in the street.
 

Janet Lees

Published in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2017

Tel: 07624 470941
 

Janet Lees website
 
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Myra Litton

Myra Litton lives in London. Her work has been published in various anthologies and in Senior Times, ‘Ireland’s website for people who don’t act their age’ .

Eureka or Epiphany

I saw a French film once years ago (probably in the 1980s)
I wish I could remember the title of this Gallic masterpiece
In it a mismatched couple, one bourgeois and intellectual
The other working class, average IQ and interests,
Had a tragic ‘star-crossed’ romance
In which if my memory is correct
The working- class partner unable to contribute satisfactorily at middle class dinner parties
And all the pressures encapsulated therein
Was eventually jettisoned
Ending up a ‘basket-case’ in the local psychiatric hospital
Looking over and over again at a travel poster on the wall
I think it was a tropical beach paradise
Convinced that they had been to the destination in question
When they hadn’t
(Because otherwise incapacitated)
It was very powerful cinema
 
Eureka/Epiphany : You cannot slot someone in somewhere where they do not belong
 

Myra Litton

Publications:
Diaries, 2014/15/16/17/18, Rennie Grove Hospice Care;
Between the Lines, 2017, anthology, City Lit;
Camden/Lumen anthologies 2014 to 2019 (Soaring Penguin Press/Salmon Poetry);
I am Woman Anthology Volume 2, 2013, Kindle Edition, FCM Publishing , available at Amazon

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Lyn Moir

… edited 5 SLNewsletters, is in 3 SLN anthologies (IOW; Parents; Making Worlds), Prague Tales and Skeins of Geese, 100 poets (2008), was a teacher and lecturer in Spanish, and a Hawthornden fellow (2004). Her third collection is due (bluechrome 2008).

Travelling, Blue

     i.m. DJM
 
We’re all in a waiting room with people we don’t know
who have suddenly become our new best friends
even though we have never lived in Walthamstow,
and we are waiting for the ship or bus or train
which will take us from here to some destination
we don’t know either. And you are there,
a little fidgety boy, can’t sit still, waiting
for the great adventure to begin. And I am me now
and then and in some parallel world where all of us
of several generations are waiting patiently for
the opening of the ticket office or passport inspection,
but now we are going up a mammoth tower
in a lift with a spiral staircase and from the top
the view is marvellous so we slide down to form a queue,
collect our bags but I can’t carry all of them.
I lose the most important
and you.
 

Lyn Moir

published in Her Wings of Glass, 2014, Second Light Publications, ISBN 978-0-9927088-0-1

Publications:
Velázquez’s Riddle, Calder Wood Press 2011
Easterly, Force 10, Calder Wood Press 2009
Breakers’ Yard, Arrowhead Press 2003
Me and Galileo, Arrowhead Press 2001


2 Shorehead
St. Andrews
Fife
KY16 9RG
 
tel: 01334 472717
 
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Judith Taylor

Judith Taylor comes from Perthshire and now lives and works in Aberdeen. Her poetry has appeared in a number of magazines: her first chapbook collection was published in 2006 and her second will be out in February 2010.

Kingfisher

Flare.

And gone. A blue
was given this bird’s name,
but it scorches
over the water. Only a hawk,
tracking above, would see it
blue:
 
from here
it’s a fiery weapon,
the sear - one side to the other –
that of a flame
along its fuse. And all the shadow
detonates round it;
all the light
 
used
to fuel a single bird
to escape velocity, out of the sky’s
predator view.
 
Gone. The ground
resettles, mined
out, its ore
burned
 
blue.

Judith Taylor

Poem published in chapbook: Earthlight (Koo Press 2006)

Publications:
Local Colour, chapbook, Calder Wood Press, 2010, ISBN 978-1-902629-34-6. £4.50.
Meeting Points, anthology, Lemon Tree Writers, 2006. ISBN 0955308607 £3-50
The tide breathes out, anthology, Lemon Tree Writers, 2006. ISBN 9780955308611 £4-99
Skein of Geese: poems from the 100 Poets Gathering at StAnza 2007, StAnza/Shed Press, ed. E Livingstone, 2008, £5-00
Earthlight, chapbook, Koo Press, 2006, ISBN 9780955307539 £3-50

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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.

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Christine Vial

East-end baby-boomer, now living in Enfield (North London) where she teaches literature and creative writing. Widely published & a popular live performer. Debut pamphlet: ‘Dancing in Blue Flip-flops’ pub autumn 2018. More info at poeticvoiceslive

“A Flask of Wine, A Book of Verse and Thou… ”

     The Last Word Cafe at the British Library
 
In a corner, a young French woman is teaching French
to a young Iranian. He, in his turn, is teaching her Persian.
English is the language they share for this transaction.
“And why do you want to learn French?” she asks him.
“Because I love French cinema and art. One day I hope
to live in Paris”. They are waiting for a performance
of the Ruba‘iyat of Omar Khayayyam in Persian and in English.
 
And so are we – in another corner – where I’m speaking
Brick Lane Cockney to my American husband: two nations
divided by a common language. Both his names are Dutch.
My father’s surname is Huguenot, from the exiled weavers
of Spitalfields, and my mother’s maiden name is Lenihan.
 
In the global village, commonality usually means Coca-Cola
and diversity means danger. But here – held in this edge of glass –
our shared and different languages weave a map of poetry
flung out bright and hopeful against the winter sky.

Christine Vial

Poem first published in Barnet Poetry Competition Anthology, 2011;
in pamphlet collection Dancing in Blue Flip-Flops, 2018;
audio online at poeticvoiceslive (see below)

Publications:
Dancing in Blue Flip-Flops, 2018, RQpoetry pamphlets, ISBN 978-1-9010171-9-2, £5
(proceeds to Freedom from Torture’s “Write to Life” group);
a selection of Christine’s poems appears in each of the following anthologies:
Doing Christmas Differently, 2006, Wild Goose publications; Home, 2007, CETH; Taste, 2008, CETH; The Book of Love and Loss, 2014, Belgrave Press

Christine Vial at poeticvoiceslive
 
e-mail Christine Vial

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