Today we celebrate the launch of David Coldwell’s second short collection, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.
Many of our readers will be more familiar with David’s work as both an editor and visual artist but when not working with other writers he has also enjoyed publishing the odd poem.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice brings together those poems into a collection described by award winning writer Amanda Huggins as a poignant and beautiful collection.
Written over a number of years, the poems in The Beekeeper’s Apprentice form a deeply emotional sequence exploring the author’s personal relationships and his bond with the natural world with images of wild moorland, remote mountains and tidal rivers never far from the central theme.
Today, especially for Mother’s Day on Sunday, we re-visit a Poetry Village favourite and remember long forgotten journeys.
Travelling north-west we stopped to watch
pheasants in a field just passed Aviemore.
My young daughter counted at least a dozen
of the brightly coloured birds as they walked
lazily in long grass backlit by autumn sun.
Further north the sun would drip beneath hills
as stars tricked us of life in a moonless night.
Before the stars, land became mountainous;
rivers exploded from hills; trees clung impossibly
to cliffs and lochs mirrored the season’s shift.
Beyond a week, beyond the stag at night, beyond
the seals in the bay, the raven in the valley
and the deer on the estate we would pass
that same place where, by the side of the road,
at least three pheasants lay dead.
I looked across at the field to see the final bale
being harvested. The sickle-bar now idle.
We travelled for most of the journey in silence.
My young daughter slept soundly. Above us
starlight from planets that no longer exist.
You lift our new daughter from the car
as I place the bags down and shout
for the boys. Our neighbour is already
upon you, leaving her garden
to fend for itself in the excitement.
And I watch the three of you from the window
seeing you wipe away a tear as you
speak her name out loud in the hope
that passing clouds will deliver
all the wishes you secretly made
and the sound of birds will remind you
of this day. The boys race to your side;
too young to hold me to account
with all the promises I ever made.
Limited edition signed copies are now available from the on-line Maytree shop here – The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by David Coldwell | Maytree Press (bigcartel.com)
Read a review here The Beekeeper’s Apprentice – a review – Ali Thurm
About the author:
David Coldwell is an artist, writer and editor based in Marsden, West Yorkshire. In 2016 he won the Templar Poetry Portfolio Prize with his debut collection, Flowers by the Road. In 2017, David created The Poetry Village which aims to promote poetry within hard to reach groups whilst offering an on-line publishing platform for some of the best new contemporary poetry.