Song In the forest the last willow tit is listening to the wind carry away her song, is listening to the wind bring back its silence. We have her song in our hearts, on our screens, interpret the algorithms to engineer a new carrier for its pine-needle notes: soft moss feathers, the thinnest eggshell skull, legs, stalks from a beech leaf and a beak of thorn. We shall create a flurry, a cloud, a tide of them, set them free to flit into the forests where the air will come alive and the days whirr with the brilliance of wing and song. Jane Lovell is an award-winning poet whose work focuses on our relationship with the planet and its wildlife. Her latest collection This Tilting Earth is published by Seren. Jane also writes for Dark Mountain and Elementum Journal. She is Writer-in-Residence at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. Her new collection 'God of Lost Ways' is forthcoming from Indigo Dreams Press later this year. Her website is here: https://janelovellpoetry.co.uk
The Swan Ballet
Across the glass lake
you float regally;
Silently you travel
shroud in beauty;
Leda knew your truth
as you rise in battle –
you love eternal
fight with passion,
Emily lives in Marsden, tucked between the Peak District and South Pennine hills. She studied literature at university and she is passionate about sharing her love of the outdoors – a space she draws inspiration from, particularly her local moorland landscape.
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.
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.
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:
The Pilgrim Hare
No more to roam the fields or box on the fertile loam,
Or sniff and savour the air or watch the moon without a care,
Or run along a furrow with ears poised and primed
For the ever present danger of dog or man unkind.
I am the pilgrim hare which many seek but fewer find.
My satchel’s full to brimming with messages for mankind.
My staff is stout and strong as I start my pilgrimage
Round the churches, shrines and holy wells, this is my heritage.
Created by an unknown hand from pure limestone
I am St Mary’s pilgrim hare, feeling all alone,
five hundred years or more I waited by this arch
to see another winter, neither mad nor march.
And silent as a stone I wait for liberation
when I might join the other hares and sniff the air and watch the moon,
or chase a doe in mating as the summer hay grows strong.
Til then, I wait, it cannot come too soon.
Clint Wastling is a writer based in The East Riding of Yorkshire. His poetry has been widely published in the UK, Ireland and USA. He regularly performs at literature festivals including Ilkley, York and Fantasycon as well as organising workshops. His debut novel, Tyrants Rex, was published by Stairwell Books. Clint pamphlet, Layers, was published by Maytree Press in 2019.
Elegant Sheep Moth
I’m no stinky Goat moth clinging
to your hair like Velcro, my larvae won’t binge
on your ears or skin. I bloom
on sweeter scents of wild rose and lilac.
I’m a day-flying moth, fast as a hummingbird,
my tiny pink scales as chic as rubellite.
I hang out in high pastures, laze on sagebrush and pine.
Enticed by a hint of sun I’ll unfold my chevron wings, pose
like a pin-up for a selfie with sheep.
Olivia Dawson, originally from London, lives between London and the Sintra Hills in Portugal. She has a Creative Writing MA from Lancaster University and her poetry has been published in a wide variety of poetry magazines and anthologies. Her debut pamphlet, Unfolded, was published in 2020 by Maytree Press.