art, Poem, Poetry

Rod Whitworth

The Petrified City
After Max Ernst

People lived here,
and danced in the moonlight.
Then the street-purifiers came
and purified the streets.
Then the house-cleansers came
and cleansed the houses.
Eugenic hygienics was the rhythm:
marching not dancing.
But dirt will out.
Grass split the stone.
People danced again,
together again,
those that were left.




Rod has had work published in The North, Magma, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Cannon’s Mouth, The Journal, Poetry Business website and some anthologies. He has had some limited success in competitions. He lives in the Garden City (aka Oldham) and is still tyrannised by commas.

art, Poem, Poetry

Impermanence

To celebrate the start of November (yes, already), today we celebrate the impressive debut Maytree publication from Colin Bancroft.

Impermanence features a collection of both award winning and previously published poems which the author describes as his life’s work to date.

The collection opens with the stunning Tethered and gathers pace from there on with a series of poems entangled by relationships, nature and the North of England that have previously featured across a variety of publications.

Many readers will already be familiar with Colin’s work as an editor and poetry promoter – he recently established the hugely popular Poets Directory and has launched both the 192 magazine and Nine Pens Press. Now’s your chance to discover the talent that drives one of the hardest working people in the poetry publishing world.

Tethered

All I could think about when you told me
That we had lost it, was that night 
We spent camping in Braemar
And the wind funnelling down the channel
Between the hills at such a rate 
That it bent the tent poles and pushed
The fabric almost into our faces,
As though there were great pressure
Being applied on the outside
And the whole of the world
Was sitting on our refuge, crushing it down.
That crush has come again,
Though different now in the silence
Of the stairs, and the rain is now your sobs
And the wind the startled breaths 
You take on my shoulder.
That night I thought that we might blow away.
I could feel the guy ropes burying themselves
Deeper, holding on for dear life,
Knowing that if they weren’t tethered
In the ground that they could end up anywhere.
That tugging is you holding onto my shirt,
Pulling it tightly in your stooped sadness,
Holding you up. As though without a firm
Grip you might take off and end up somewhere
Beyond that valley, that field and these stairs.


Atmosphere

I suppose if I were to compare it to anything
It would be snow. That moment of wonder 
When you open the curtains on a morning
And find that the whole world is under
New conditions. Everything unwritten
And laid out with a brilliant innocence,
Every unsightly blemish neatly hidden
Beneath a moment that seems to be synchronous
With happiness. But it never lasts, as we know,
And soon it starts to melt down to slush:
The old dark world rising up from below
To lock us back into its inescapable crush.

Impermanence, published by Maytree Press, was released on the 30 October 2020. The cover features the wonderful original artwork, Autumn Glow by Kevin Threlfall.

The collection is available direct from Colin via the Poets Directory Shop, The Maytree Press Shop, Amazon plus all good book shops (ask them to order).

You can find out more here:

https://www.poetsdirectory.co.uk/

https://maytreepress.bigcartel.com/

https://www.threlfallart.co.uk/

art, Poem, Poetry

Unfolded by Olivia Dawson

As an added extra, today we celebrate the release of Olivia Dawson’s debut collection, Unfolded. Available from today, Unfolded is the 19th publication from our friends at Maytree Press and again features original cover art from Alice Parker.

A wonderful debut collection uniquely themed around a collection of exotic and mysterious fans where Olivia gently weaves together a series of intimate portraits as though the words were themselves revealing a secret message on the leaves of a fan.

Unfolded is now available direct from Olivia or online from Maytree Press https://maytreepress.bigcartel.com/

Mantelpiece

Sometimes I display a fan
of glossy invitations showy

as peacock feathers,
or my Rolling Stones badge

pinned to a shrivelled rose
for a conversation piece.

Once I laid out family photos
but they disturbed the space

curling like cellophane fish
in the heat. Today a naked figurine,

round as Botero’s ballerina, poses
between two bowls with silver rims,

a screen of dust dims their reflective glaze
which only shows glimpses of me.



Still Life with Chocolate Pot

Matisse owns a chocolate pot –
treasured wedding present, drop-bellied,
squat, with a walk-on part

into interior lives.
It poses as a curvy vase
alive with silk flowers

or hides in the design of a tablecloth
like an optical illusion,
sometimes it takes centre stage,

duckbilled on three splayed feet.
Recast as a paper cut-out
the pot looks for its finest angle

jaunty behind a neon apple
then goes missing
to return as a smaller version

of itself, where it lurks
in the background, lopsided,
unsure of the applause.



Olivia Dawson, originally from London, now lives in the Sintra hills near Lisbon, via Paris and Rio, where she worked as an EFL teacher. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and is the Poetry Society Stanza rep for the Lisbon area. Her poetry has been published in magazines and anthologies including Magma, Poetry News, Under the Radar, Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal, Time & Tide (Arachne Press), The
Chronicles of Eve
(Paper Swans Press) and longlisted for the National
Poetry Competition, shortlisted for Paper Swans Press Pamphlet
Competition and shortlisted for the Poetry on the Lake Competition. Unfolded is her debut pamphlet.

art, Poetry

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

art, 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