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First Kiss – Cara L Mckee

Today we celebrate the launch of the latest collection from Maytree Press, Cara L McKee’s stunning debut, First Kiss.

Heartfelt and passionate, First Kiss invites the reader on a journey of discovery and sexual awakening. Whilst the central theme may be one of coming of age, the collection evolves into a heartbreaking antiphon for independence and survival. A wonderful accessible collection that deserves to be enjoyed again and again and with cover artwork by leading British artist, Annie Ovenden, one to be cherished for years to come.

You can join Cara for an on-line launch of the collection today (Friday) via her Instagram page – search CaraLMcKee. The book is also available from the Maytree shop

 

I took from the sea

I took from the sea
you, my fisherman-sailor
patterned with koi fish,
needled into human clay
which reddens, washed by water.

I gave you kisses,
needled Xs into skin
to remember flesh,
to mark the spots I miss you,
still kiss you on the water.

I took from the sea
your hot kisses which returned,
washed out by the waves.
Your fish swirl into sea.
Kisses fade, washed in water.

I gave my sailor,
kissed him deep into the sea,
all the coy kisses
needled into white clay bone
fading, gone to the water.

Nick

who wasn’t me though we were born
on the same day, lived in the same house. Nick,
today I saw you on screen. You were
alive, so alive that I Googled you.
Did you know online our birthday’s wrong?
Did you let loose that year with a shrug?
Did you lie? Flutter your lashes
make yourself pretty? Did you do that for them?
You did that for me once. We might have been
joking about being carved from the same clay
until that morning. You came early,
bringing me your fears of all you’d given
in the night – your stories, hardly set, untold.
We kissed them right again, remade you as
the man you claimed to be, a dazzle
in our small world as we climbed together
shifting our horizons. As the dew soaked us
you pulled your stories straight. That was all, and
much later, I did not feel you go, which
was proof really, that all our similarities
didn’t make us the same. You are done, Nick.
I am told death was not your doing, yet
I blame you. It’s your turn to prove me wrong.

 

 

 

Bill Cotter

Night

Like stale water over charcoal,
The smell of smoke pools, eddies
And gullies, robbed of all their secrets,
Lie, helpless beneath the single,
Judgemental eye of the moon.
Cold as sleeper spikes,
Stars bury themselves in the iron sky.
Trunks, as if to avoid detection,
Cling on to the darkness.
Stripped banksia branches point accusingly upwards.
Grey as spoiled snow,
The forest’s orchestra pit lies deserted.
The choristers and musicians have all gone

And of the audience,
Only I remain.

Saboteur Awards 2020

Huge congratulations to Maytree Poets, Pauline Rowe and Amanda Huggins.

Maytree Press

We’re absolutely thrilled to see two of our pamphlets on the 2020 Saboteur Awards shortlist. Huge congratulations to both Pauline Rowe and Amanda Huggins whose pamphlets, The Ghost Hospital and The Collective Nouns for Birds have made it on to this prestigious list. You can find both of these wonderful collections along with many more Maytree treats in our on-line shop.

Voting opens again on the 19 April to choose the winning collection and we’d be delighted if you could support team Maytree. Full details of the awards and full shortlist can be found by following this link.

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Green Fields: sorted for songs

Maytree Press

The time has come – check whether your favourite made it onto the festival mix-tape.

Play loud at 17.45 and together, in our minds, let’s meet on the ledge. Enjoy!

Here’s the list:

Intro: Pink Floyd v David Bowie
I Wanna Be Adored – Stone Roses
Starman – David Bowie
Can’t Stop – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Touch the Sky – Kanye West
All You Good Good People – Embrace
Sorted For Es and Whizz – Pulp
Hey Joe – Jimi Hendrix
Jolene – Dolly Parton
No Surprises – Radiohead
Meet Me On the Ledge – Fairport Convention
Any Colour You Like – Pink Floyd

Mixed by DeC – from the kitchen 2020.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our virtual launch of Green Fields over on the Poetry Village during week – here’s a fitting end from one of our editors with a few memories of better times.

In the End…

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Hillary Hares

Boomers

Cat Stevens drifts down from the record player
in the flat above, plucking at the heartstrings
of the triplets, who always have more fun than us.

Our couch, stained by other transient lives, lurks
beneath its orange nylon spread and spider-plants
throw half-formed shadows from their macramé nests.

The shelves boast a fine display of Mateus Rosé bottles,
candle-wax sliding from their shoulders like silk slipping
from Bardot. The meter ticks.

The kitchen is a cupboard with a Baby Belling and a broken
plastic bin but Che Guevara turns the listless, rented wall
into a revolution.

We are all on the Pill. Everything is expected of us.

Hilary Hares’ poems have found homes online, in print and in anthologies. She has a Poetry MA from MMU and has achieved success in a number of competitions. Her collection, A Butterfly Lands on the Moon supports Loose Muse, Winchester and Red Queen, is forthcoming from Marble Poetry in 2020.

Gordon Meade – Zoospeak

Hyena, Europe, 2015

My ears are intact.
There have been no chunks
taken out of them.

My ears are intact.
There have been no chunks
taken out of them.
My ears are intact.

My ears are intact.
There have been no chunks
taken out of them.
My ears are intact,
as is my snout – no scars.

My ears are intact.
There have been no chunks
taken out of them.
My ears are intact,
as is my snout; no scars
visible along its length.

My ears are intact.
There have been no chunks
taken out of them.
My ears are intact,
as is my snout; no scars
visible along its length.
My ears are intact.

My ears are intact.
There have been no chunks
taken out of them.
My ears are intact,
as is my snout; no scars
visible along its length.
My ears are intact.
I hear every word you say.

My ears are intact.
There have been no chunks
taken out of them.
My ears are intact,
as is my snout; no scars
visible along its length.
My ears are intact.
I can hear every word you say,
but my eyes are dead.

 

Burrowing Owl, Denmark, 2016

Somehow, I have not managed to make it
underground. Instead, I am standing on a branch
attached to a sawn-off tree stump.

Somehow, I have not managed to make it
underground. Instead, I am standing on a branch
attached to a sawn-off tree stump.
There is not enough earth here for me.

Somehow, I have not managed to make it
underground. Instead, I am standing on a branch
attached to a sawn-off tree stump.
There is not enough earth here for me
to dig myself a burrow, nor enough sky.

Somehow, I have not managed to make it
underground. Instead, I am standing on a branch
attached to a sawn-off tree stump.
There is not enough earth here for me
to dig myself a burrow, nor enough sky
for me to open up my wings and fly.

Somehow, I have not managed to make it
underground. Instead, I am standing on a branch
attached to a sawn-off tree stump.
There is not enough earth here for me
to dig myself a burrow, nor enough sky
for me to open up my wings and fly;
all things having been considered.

Somehow, I have not managed to make it
underground. Instead, I am standing on a branch
attached to a sawn-off tree stump.
There is not enough earth here for me
to dig myself a burrow, nor enough sky
for me to open up my wings and fly.
All things having been considered,
what I could really do with is a bowl.

Somehow, I have not managed to make it
underground. Instead, I am standing on a branch
attached to a sawn-off tree stump.
There is not enough earth here for me
to dig myself a burrow, nor enough sky
for me to open up my wings and fly.
All things having been considered,
what I could really do with is a bowl
of water in which to drown my sorrows.

 

Walrus, USA, 2011

I am so happy to have
been made a part of your work
of art. It is so clever.

I am so happy to have
been made a part of your work
of art. It is so clever
what you have managed.

I am so happy to have
been made a part of your work
of art. It is so clever
what you have managed
to do; been able to capture.

I am so happy to have
been made a part of your work
of art. It is so clever
what you have managed
to do; been able to capture
my existence as it is.

I am so happy to have
been made a part of your work
of art. It is so clever
what you have managed
to do; been able to capture
my existence as it is
now and, also, the world.

I am so happy to have
been made a part of your work
of art. It is so clever
what you have managed
to do; been able to capture
my existence as it is
now and, also, the world
from where I came.

I am so happy to have
been made a part of your work
of art. It is so clever
what you have managed
to do: been able to capture
my existence as it is
now and, also, the world

from where I came;
and all of it in a single shot.

 

Gordon Meade is a Scottish poet based in Fife. He divides his time between his own writing and developing creative writing for vulnerable people in a variety of settings. His most recent collection, The Year of the Crab, was published in 2017 by Cultured Llama Publishing in Kent, England.

 

About Zoospeak:

All three poems are taken from a series entitled, Zoospeak, which takes as its initial inspiration the work of the Canadian photographer and animal activist, Jo-Anne McArthur, especially as represented in her most recent book, Captive.