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A Wonderful Year!

As 2018 draws to a close, here at The Poetry Village we’d like to wish all our readers a happy and safe new year. Whilst we’re extremely proud of our project and what we’ve achieved over the last twelve months we’re also super excited about all the future projects that we have planned; not to mention all the amazing poems that have landed in our inbox and will be shared with our readers over the coming months.

Don’t forget that from February we will be publishing poems twice weekly. The launch of our Monday poems starts on the 4 February to help raise awareness of World Cancer Day with a moving collection of poems from Cameron Morse who is diagnosed with one of the most aggressive and malignant brain cancers.

Whilst we are proud to publish on-line, we appreciate that there are gaps in the market for traditional print and this is where our own imprint, Maytree Press begins its journey. We are delighted to reveal that both Maria Isakova-Bennett and Hannah Stone will be releasing new pamphlets with the press in Spring 2019. Look out for more details on our micro-site in the new year.

For now, thank you to everyone who has supported our project by sending your wonderful poetry, subscribing to the site and sharing the posts across the world. The statistics are truly amazing and to celebrate we’d like to share three of our most viewed poems with you again. Have fun and a wonderful creative New Year.

 

Mark Totterdel – Clod

Rolling away the clod reveals
a trinity of newts, curled like commas,
tiny heraldic beasts,
rhymes for the pale dead roots around them.

Last year, I chucked this hunk of earth
and made, by chance, their thin winter world.

May I set this against
my felling of the frogs’ safe groves of grass,
each careless wormchop, each act
of blue murder on the simple slugs?

 

Georgie Woodhead – Sunbridge Road

There are mothers stood arms-folded,
hard-buckled hands and tongues like blisters,
there are liver spots on the fat skin of their
calves when the wind flaps white dress around
their legs, dirty bedsheets on washing lines.

Men stood on the clumsy cobbles of alley ways,
he is swaying, facing the bricks that are slimy with
moss and the drip of black drainpipes, he turns
around and grins as he pulls up his zipper, finished
making steam against the dead weeds of concrete and stone.

A couple stood by the side of the road.
She is wearing a lilac that trips over the wind and ripples
around her knees, like the mother before her, she is leaning
up on her tip-toes as the bus screeches past, the reflection of her
red nails gripped around his shoulders, like blossom.

And he wheels his shopping trolley along crazy
paving like cracks in a broken heart, one wheel
always spinning out of control, a circus ride gone
wrong. Boxes of Shreddies, kitchen roll, dog food, five
six packs of beer, one sole flapping against the pavement
in a drumbeat like busking, he is stockpiling supplies he will never need

he is preparing for the downfall of this country that he will never get to see.

 

Roy Marshall – Seeing the Entomologist

He doesn’t know that a bee, drinking salt
from the pores on his wrist, is called
a Sweat Bee. Nor that a butterfly, fluttering by,
has memories of caterpillar life.

He rolls onto his stomach, shades his eyes,
says, ‘now you’re making it up.’ She laughs, her hair
a spill on the grass, counters,
‘google it if you like.’

He learns how a raft spider can submerge
for an hour, that Hawk moths have ears
on their mouths. She doesn’t know
that the lake remembers

every pebble you throw, and that
if a loved one dies, a body can fill
with grief, the way a water barrel
fills with sky.

 

Mark Totterdell’s poems have appeared widely in magazines and have occasionally won competitions. His collections are ‘This Patter of Traces’ (Oversteps Books, 2014) and ‘Mapping’ (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2018, http://www.indigodreams.co.uk/mark-totterdell/4594336680)

 

Georgie Woodhead is a young writer from Sheffield who attends Hive’s Sheffield Young Writers. She was one of two highly commended young poets in the Cuckoo Northern Writers Award 2018. She was a winner of the Foyle Poetry Prize 2018 and came 2nd in the young people’s category of the Ledbury Poetry Competition 2018. Georgie has been published in Hive anthologies, halfway smile and wild poetry. She’s performed at various young writers’ events, and festivals including the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival 2018.

 

Roy Marshall’s first pamphlet Gopagilla (2012) received favourable reviews in the TLS and elsewhere. His first full collection The Sun Bathers was shortlisted for the Michael Murphy Award, and a second collection The Great Animator (Shoestring Press) appeared in 2017. Previously a nurse, Roy now works in adult education.

You can follow Roy’s blog here: Roy Marshall

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Stella Wulf

Free Gift

There are those who bestow on excuses
the weight of moment,
the stature of circumstance,
the eminence of self-conceit,
but however they embellish them
they remain useless fripperies,
empty packages wrapped up
in a tissue of deceit.

I’ve come to the party empty handed,
not with sorry concoctions,
beribboned fictions, gilded pretexts
of time’s lack and loss,
but because everything material
looks like dross.

Knick-knacks, bibelots, trinkets, tat,
I want to do better than that.
I want to give a gift that endures,
one that’s robust, dependable,
shock-proof, secure.

A gift that won’t founder, breakdown,
sit uselessly on the shelf.
So I give you the brace and buttress
of arms, a shoulder’s bolster, a buffer,
when you rub against strife.
I give you myself, unwrapped,
a friend, not just for Christmas,
but guaranteed for life.

 

Stella’s poems are widely published both in print and online, and appear in several anthologies including, The Very Best of 52, three drops, Clear Poetry, and #MeToo. Her pamphlet, After Eden, was published by 4word in May 2018. She has an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University.

 

Penny Blackburn

How Knowledge Happens

They had no idea how bats
moved so certain-winged in the dark,
stalactite ceilings no obstacle
to flight
in their cave-roof roosts.

Streaming out
as black-boned smoke
from the cavern mouth;
stark shapes at dusk, each insect prey
detected, devoured.

Science covered their eyes.
Each bat, undeterred,
flew room-round just as swift.

“Their eyes then, gentlemen,
are not the mark
of motion
that these creatures use.”

But in science there must be undoubted
certainty;
their eyes removed –
just to be sure.

 

Penny Blackburn lives in the North East of England and is a teacher by profession. As well as writing poetry she enjoys performing it ‘off-page’ as part of local open mic and spoken word events. She also writes short fiction.

 

Belinda Rimmer

The Science of Jumping

Born of birds
I suited the science of jumping.
For years, plimsoll shod I’d leap through the air,
land bottom-up in the midst of a stormy sandpit.

I won medals, courted crowds
who shouted my name with trumpet breath.
I believed in everlasting childhood.
Hated the dull hunched ache of breasts.
They threw me off kilter –
no more hop, skip, jump.

In dreams I’m often perched in trees –
a tribute to that time
when I was born of birds.

 

Belinda has worked as a psychiatric nurse, lecturer and arts practitioner. Her poems are published in magazines, on-line journals and anthologies. In 2017, she won the Poetry in Motion Competition to turn her poem into a film, since shown Internationally. In April, she supported Gill McEvoy at Cheltenham Poetry Festival.
Website: http://www.belindarimmer.com/
Twitter: @belrimmer