A fine way to end the year would be reading through this year’s Clear Poetry Anthology, put together by CP editor Ben Banyard. It’s a bittersweet feeling this year, mind you, because although one of my poems is included for the second year running (Clapham Junction, which can be found on page 13), it comes with the knowledge that Ben has decided to call time on Clear Poetry.
Total respect, Ben, for all the hard work you’ve put in running such a great online venue for both aspiring and established poets. And best wishes with furthering your own poetry endeavours.
The third and final Clear Poetry Anthology is now available to download and read, free of charge.
via Clear Poetry Anthology 2017 — Clear Poetry
Somewhere within me I rarely choose to visit,
I suspect this is perhaps not going to work, and
she’s insisting it should only ever be made
with all-purpose flour, though I’ve been
coping fine with cornflour, or store-brand
packet mixes for years, and it comes out OK
three, possibly, four times out of seven.
And everything in her kitchen matches like
it was all bought with a flawless shrug
and a customary swipe of the store card.
But then we share uncannily similar tastes
in music – Wagner, Kid Creole – and I like
the way she likes the way I smell, even if
I don’t. I’m rafted to this quaint belief that
if you put the work in, there’s no limit
to the lumps that can’t be smoothed out.
first published in Cacti Fur, 2016
She’s now happy to give in, let the weeds
win over at least a corner of the garden,
over there, between the blue clapboard shed
and the fence, too lazy to hold itself up,
furthest from the back porch, where it all
happened. No-one else sees, she supposes.
The rosebay willow herb fills up the view
every July, with its clamour of firework spikes,
more reliably than the delphiniums ever did;
the hoverflies love the nettles, the ragwort,
and bees spoil themselves on crowns of clover.
The redundant sickle hangs from a thick nail.
first published in The Cannon’s Mouth, Issue 61, 2016
My poem “Nelly” has been posted today at Autumn Sky Poetry Daily.
It’s a poem about my Grandmother – my Nan – her funeral, and my imagining her as a young woman leaving the place where she was born and grew up to start a new life. If you’ve visited my “About” page, you’ll already be acquainted with her and with the origins of the title of this blog.
My thanks go out to Autumn Sky Poetry Daily editor, Christine Klocek-Lim, for choosing to publish the poem.
Up here is where I’m sure it was, all the
muted fluttering, on the ledges shouldered
beneath the newly-converted mills, lording it
over the gritted teeth of the stone-dark town.
I followed her, behind by a breath that still
tasted of kiss, enjoying the view, through a
chain of fields thigh-deep in flowers, the sky
both scrubbed blue and punched with bruises
at the same time. She seemed to know
all their names, the cornflowers, loosestrife,
pointed out the ragwort – poisonous to cattle –
and the liquorice-striped caterpillars urgently
stripping its leaves. I fell back, now winded
with the effort, rolling their names on my tongue.
She seemed to know everything that mattered,
all except what was hatching away inside her.
first published in Firefly Magazine, issue 10, 2017
My poem, Eve and her mother have a little chat, appears – along with loads of other great stuff – in Issue #7 of Picaroon Poetry, which has been published this week. Picaroon is well worth a follow, if you don’t already. Thanks to editor Kate Garrett for including the poem.