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between two rivers – Nick Allen and Myles Linley

Today we celebrate the Maytree Press release of this very special collaboration between poet Nick Allen and artist Myles Linley.

In this unique partnership, poet and artist explore and respond to the mysterious landscape of the East Riding of Yorkshire.

With twelve full page colour and black and white images to compliment Nick’s sublime poetry, this is a pamphlet that will be treasured for years to come. Strictly limited to 150 copies, don’t miss out – order your copy direct from Maytree here –  Shop

 

how here
(on seeing the turbine blade installation outside the Ferens Gallery, Hull)

what beast left this
what manner of beast
dropped this thing

let it fall
why here and how here
what did it before

and where

what myth has been provoked
what legend ransacked
where art   how art
how can we make recompense

how repair

would that we were able
would that we

would we

 

9781916038158

 

About – to find out more about Nick and Myles follow these links:

Myles Linley

Nick Allen Poetry

Tim Taylor – Two Poems

This week, to celebrate the launch of Maytree 003, we are delighted to feature not one but two poems by Holmfirth based author, Tim Taylor. The two poems have been chosen because one made the cut and the other, sadly, didn’t. We still believe, however, that The Cowrie Shell deserves a greater audience and we are delighted to be able to feature it in the Village. Personally I really like the Cowrie Shell but unfortunately we just couldn’t make it fit in the collection – the tough choices of poet and editor! So now we like to think of the Cowrie Shell as the hidden track of Sea Without A Shore and it’s only right that we feature it alongside the key track in the pamphlet. Pioneer holds the clue to the title of the collection and inspired the choice of cover art which features the painting, Changing Light by Saltaire based artist, Paula Dunn.

You can purchase Sea Without A Shore on-line from our own Village Shop or, if you’re anywhere near Holmfirth on the 2 July, direct from Tim at his forthcoming launch event at Holmfirth Library.

The Cowrie Shell

“Just chuck ‘em in the skip,” she said
as if each object in that box
were not once part of me:
attached by long sinews of stories,
fed by flimsy arteries
through which a child’s heart
once pumped them full of meaning.

The box took them when life moved on.
Now lifeless, so I thought
but peeling back the cardboard
I could sense the gasps for air.
Each object in its turn cried out;
the child in me woke up
and would not let them go.

Among the marbles and the model cars
I found a cowrie shell: smooth, mottled,
exuding still the faintest smell of salt.
“You remember me,” it said
– that holiday in 1969”. I felt
a flickering of what seemed like recall.
I dug deep for that memory,
found it rotted by the years.
I steeled myself, obeyed
the pitiless reminder:
“you cannot keep them all.”

Not quite big enough to be an ornament,
if fitted better in a smaller hand.
I put it down: out fell a single grain of sand.

Pioneer

Humans made me
with exquisite care, but then, in fire
and violence, thrust me far away.
Obedient, I spied on giants,
sent my postcards home.
No more: their Earth
has long winked out of sight,
their Sun – a dot among its sister stars.
I am silent now: my masters
cannot see or hear me,
nor I them. Still, I travel on
bringing their message
to anyone in this infinity of black
who might yet care to see.

There being no one
I have found a purpose of my own:
to navigate this sea without a shore
to ride its tides, explore its nothingness,
to understand the nature of the void.
It lends perspective:
One day – not far away
by the eternal standards of this place –
humans, their Earth and all trace of it
will have folded into time.
Except for me: I travel on
bearing their image on my side
until swallowed by a star
or by the end of everything.

(Pioneer 10, the first spacecraft to visit Jupiter, lost contact with Earth on January 23, 2003. It is now thought to be 11 billion miles away. It carries a plaque with pictures of a man and woman.)

 

Tim Taylor is a Holmfirth based author who has previously published two novels. Sea Without A Shore is his debut poetry pamphlet. Visit our shop here

Image: Changing Light by Paula Dunn. Found out more here

Dick Jones

Morgan, Mulligan and Me

‘My Funny Valentine’
Art Farmer – trumpet
Gerry Mulligan – baritone sax
Bill Crow – bass
Dave Bailey – drums

There was
it seemed
a chance
after all

a chance
that in spite
of the thick
cat curve of

Morgan’s midnight
hair; the
electric green
surveillance of

those Cleopatra
eyes; the
devastating scorn
of that

elevated lip,
she might
just notice me
for all my looks

laughable un-
photographable.
A neutral party
told me late

one Tuesday
after lunch
and with all of
break before us
(this for the price
of my last
French cigarette)
that you had

a thing
a real thing
a kink for a
saxophone.

Where all
the other girls
had things for
a kiss-curl fall

or a hand
drooped limp
at the wrist
or a hip-switch

twist away from
the microphone
you favoured
the blue smoke

of a saxophone.
So it was tongue
and breath against
bone and sinew

and I knew that
this I could
accommodate
and more.

So when some
other afternoon
(the golden hour
gone grey with rain)

I saw you curled
alone along the
studio window seat
watching the wind

in the trees
along the drive
I slipped
the disc from

its whisky
amber sleeve
laid it like
an offering to

the turntable
lifted on
the stylus and
sat down across

the room
head bowed
hands clasped
in shadow.

Mulligan and
Funny Valentine:
the lemon slice
of Farmer’s

trumpet lead;
the distant bumble
of the baritone
before it lifts

its fuzzy head
and whispers
its sweet and
cruel put-down

praises up until
the two slow
circling voices
wood and wire

ice and water
drop together
wound into
that comic valentine.

And she uncoiled
raising shoulders
lifting hips turning
last her head

until like a
sideways sphinx
she watched cat
still cat steady.

Then she said
Encore and coiled
again but now
away from light

and facing shade
my shade.
She smiled. And
I smiled too.

 

Dick Jones

In 2010 Dick received a Pushcart nomination for his poem Sea of Stars. His first collection, Ancient Lights, is published by Phoenicia Publishing (www.phoeniciapublishing.com/ancient-lights.html). His translation of Blaise Cendrars’ influential epic poem ‘La Prose du Transsiberien…’ was published an illustrated collaborative edition with artist Natalie D’Arbeloff by Old Stile Press (www.oldstilepress.com/osp_book/trans-siberian-prosody-and-little-jeanne-from-france/)in 2014.

 

Gerry Mulligan Quartet – My Funny Valentine

 

 

Hannah Stone

Easter Hail Stones, Hanlith Moor 

The sky is surly today,
reluctant to twist the veil
and clothe us in its blue lining.

Spring trees are barely clad,
still stretch out their limbs
in dark longing.

After Gordale Scar refuses us
the moors embrace our feet;
saturated soil clogs our boots.

Then, sudden and brutal,
the weather front drops its pretence,
drapes us with white-out.

Hail stones beat and batter
any flesh exposed to its blows.
Visibility shrinks before our gaze.

This cold pierces Gortex layers,
stabs to the bones.
Cheeks redden from its flail.

Then, it is as if a hand
reaches down and lifts the scourge,
switches on the light.

There is a lane, pointing
in roughly the right direction.
On naked elders, birds start to celebrate.

We breathe new life
into stinging fingers,
raise bruised faces to the sun.

 

Hannah Stone has been widely anthologized and published on ezines and in The North, Dreamcatcher and other journals and collaborations. Solo publications include ‘Lodestone’ (Stairwell Books, York, 2016) and ‘Missing Miles’ (Indigo Dreams 2017). She collaborates with poets, composers and broadcasters. In other lives, she is a hillwalker, forager, singer and teacher.
Hannah’s new pamphlet, SŴN Y MORLOI ON PEN-CAER, is due in late spring 2019 from Maytree Press

 

 

 

Katerina Neocleous

Icarus

Where did you go
when you’d engraved
these words into the spring’s
herb covered rock;
drink and forget yourself.

Did you slake your thirst;
your journey ebbing
in content oblivion:
did you start again
or waste your days

trying to assuage
survivor’s guilt;
selling yourself to
shoot up in a squat,
in Bodrum or Kos

another Icarus
who lost his way
over the sea, bereft
of everything except
the will to be free.

 

Katerina Neocleous has been published in various poetry journals, most recently in Obsessed With Pipework, and Algebra Of Owls.

For more of her work, please visit visionsfromhell.wordpress.com

 

 

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

Byron Beynon

THE STRAND, LAUGHARNE
after the painting by Morland Lewis

He sets the day’s tone
as familiar locals go about
their daily business.
The brackish houses
focus on the sea,
waiting for the man of words
to arrive.
Reflections blossom on
the water’s experienced face,
as a whitewashed wall
borders a commune of windows.
Life here continues
with a natural sunlight
casting shadows
on snatched moments
impossible to ignore.

 

 

Byron Beynon’s work has appeared in several publications including Crannog, Cyphers, London Magazine, Planet, Poetry Wales, The Yellow Nib and the human rights anthology In Protest (University of London and Keats House Poets).  Collections include Cuffs (Rack Press) and The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions).

https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/the-strand-laugharne-160268#