Poem, Poetry

Catching Air – 2 poems

Today, as another added extra, we celebrate the launch of the final publication of 2020 from Maytree Press.

Catching Air by Galway based writer, Vinny Glynn-Steed is a sometimes intimate and often powerful exploration of new fatherhood and the wild southern Irish landscape. A wonderful lyrical debut from this award winning writer.

If you are looking for those last minute stocking fillers then you’ll find a host of stunning books in the Maytree Shop including Catching Air which is released today.

Home | Maytree Press (bigcartel.com)

Catching Air

From an upstairs window I hear the procession
moan of horns, tyres jawing gravel
the sound of car doors like a round of applause 
from the Gods
and then the silence
but for rustle of rose, orchid, hyacinth 
and the people who tend their box of whispers 
the birch trees lurking in corners, four heavenly kings  
who watched us through time, settle with the mandible
of a wild boar, faces turned towards the rising sun
some bare-breasted artefact a guide in bewildering dark
to this point where a slab and stone border defines a memory
sustenance for all our ghosts
like a child catching air with a butterfly net 
or dreams of the astral cartographer
– ordnance survey of stars not yet discovered.



Bog Scripture

Not long after the obligatory dip of Sunday 
fingers we search again for meaning 
this time up high where curlew calls 
are unrestrained – we stand; imposters wind-blushed 
under the sanctuary of her hanging sun 
and amongst bog rush we measure the daylight in hands
blisters, sores, count the crusted callouses on a landscape 
horizontal – where the shadow of a sleán tells us nothing 
really changes in a thousand years, how only hands grow 
old, hands that found scripture in the sedges 
hidden in Faddan More, scattered stones and pebbles 
opened to the heat like breathless vowels  
and how on a bed of bladderwort, a history 
of ancient grammar lies sleeping.


Vinny Glynn-Steed from Galway is widely published at home and abroad. His work has appeared in journals and online in Mexico, the United States, Wales and Northern Ireland. He has featured in publications such as Windows 25th edition, Parhelion and Cinnamon Press anthology. Other publications include Galway Review, Headstuff, Skylight 47, Crannog, Into the Void, Bangor Journal, Tales from the Forest magazine, Ogham Stone, Ofi Press magazine, ROPES, All the Sins, Mediterranean Poetry, Flight, Boyne Berries, Dodging the Rain and Poems in Profile.

Vinny was the winner of the 2020 Allingham poetry competition.



Catching Air by Vinny Glynn-Steed | Maytree Press (bigcartel.com)

Poem, Poetry

January – two poems

Today we celebrate the launch of Sarah Barr’s new Maytree publication, January.

Sarah, originally from London, studied English at London University, Social Sciences at Southampton University and now lives in Dorset where she writes poetry and fiction, teaches writing, mentors writers and leads a Stanza group. Her poems have twice won the Dorset Award in the Bridport Prize. She has worked as a counsellor and as an Open University tutor of social sciences and creative writing. Sarah often writes about relationships and has particular interests in psychological, social and environmental issues.

The collection is already receiving favourable reviews and we’re delighted to share these words from award winning poet, John McCullough:

Sarah Barr writes subtle poems that probe the edges of uncertainties, the details of objects and landscapes gradually revealing her speakers’ unease. The disjunctions in the title piece evoke the sudden leaps of a mind actively thinking, the white spaces between stanzas inviting us to imagine what’s going on beneath the clipped surface of the language. Elsewhere, simple phrasing holds carefully nuanced images: the menace of cracking ice, a long-married couple surrounded by ‘masks / and stiff-limbed, velvet-dressed dolls.’ The writing carries on unfolding inside the reader long after their eyes have left the page.

John McCullough

Dartmoor Snow  

We stride out
and listen to the scrunch of boots
in the deep, dry powder.
Down the slippery path where frosted catkins
and hawthorn overhang
to the half-way metal bench
upholstered in white.
We track across the sloping field,
admire our footprints,
greet the only other human out today,
a swaddled woman with terriers
who roll, pat paws, and turn
into snow-dogs. 
We catch snowflakes on our tongues.
Neige, nieve, sneachta, eira, snaw,
a blurring of boundaries.
The sky thickens
and snow keeps falling.
Where are all the children?
Returning home, a fringe of icicles
hangs from the shed roof eaves.
We play music,
slice bread, pour wine. 




Ice 

As a child, cracking frozen puddles with my heel,
I delighted in their special creak,
their mud imprinted with stars.

We’d snap off icicles
hanging from low eaves like glass stalactites,
and brandish them in chilblained fingers.

I tried reading The Snow Queen –
a sliver of glass turned to ice in someone’s heart,
and I never reached the end of the story.

Walking across the lake at Zell am Zee,
towards the frosted wedding-cake hotel,
the curlers’ shouts chiming through the air,

the soft afternoon snow blurring our footprints,
I wonder, how do they know when the ice
is about to crack?  How will we know?




January is available direct from the Maytree online shop for £7.00.

https://maytreepress.bigcartel.com/

Poem, Poetry

Because of the War – Aziz Dixon

We are delighted to help celebrate the launch of the second three trees edition from Maytree Press with the stunning debut from Aziz Dixon.

In this heartbreaking collection, the poet explores the fragility of peace from post war Britain to the war ravaged streets of Srebrenica.

A remarkable debut by a poet who I’m sure we will hear a lot more from in years to come.

Because of the War is available direct from Aziz or on-line from the Maytree Shop.

 

Because of the war

On holiday none of them liked us.
I was seven when I found out.
When we open our mouths
they hear screams,
my father said,
because of the war.

Now I know what they did,
my people to yours. You reach
across the toast crumbs,
catch my eye.
We share today, you say,
because of the war.

 

Safe inside

He was violent, drunk;
he taught you not to fight
and not to shout, but then you went,
were sent to war, you
and your brothers too. Your daughter learned
how not to fight, how not to shout.
She married one who could be
foul of mood,
rampaging when in pain.

Your DNA came down to me,
but I’ve been searching all these years
to make it stop, this generational curse,
to find if mint will grow in a pot,
will season life, although constrained.

9781913508067

 

Poem, Poetry

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.

 

 

 

Poetry

The Kingdom – Matt Duggan

To celebrate the latest release from Maytree Press we welcome Matt Duggan back to the Village with two poems from his latest collection.

Released on the 10 April 2020, The Kingdom has already received some wonderful reviews and you can read the latest by Glynn Young here

The Kingdom is available now direct from the author or from the Maytree Shop with free UK post and packing. Each book comes with a free art card featuring the cover art by David Coldwell. Inside the shop you’ll also find The Ghost Hospital by Pauline Rowe and The Collective Nouns for Birds by Amanda Huggins – both recently shortlisted in the 2020 Saboteur Awards and currently fighting it out for top prize. Why not treat yourself and vote for your favourite. Maytree Shop

Reflections on my 49th Year

I dreamt that we were once beautiful
kicking white leaves in autumn daylight —
collecting cloud speech bubbles
while we danced on crystal paths of sun
allowing the breeze to ease around my body.

Hear that sound — like birds in flight
whispering as the rats are singing;
ears have sharpened teeth
when time can be so ruthless?

How praise became a crooked blade —
a reflection held inside a tinted mask
that only smiled at its own self-deception.

We hear the price of folly
stripped away as a disguise for a dime of popularism —
how those actors came and went —
like changing costumes in a badly performed
tragedy of somebody else’s life.

 

Drinking with Dylan

Floor and bar look exactly the same;
I see a black and white picture of you
holding a lily-white tankard
sitting where I am sitting today.

Mirrors are still hanging in some of the same places
if slightly jarred by the front door;
broken neon sign outside the Tavern
flashing with an irregular luminous beat.

The white clock behind the bar
has miraculously stopped at 19.53
where we smell corndogs and cigarettes —

drilling men with blue and yellow safety hats
curse the sounds drifting by cement gaps
in large windows and high silver towers

peaking skyward into a bright red diesel mass
where aluminium shaped angels filled my sky.

 

 

Matt was born in Bristol 1971 and now lives in Newport, Wales with his partner Kelly. His poems have appeared in many journals including Potomac Review, Foxtrot Uniform, Dodging the Rain, Here Comes Everyone, Osiris Poetry Journal, The Blue Nib, The Poetry Village, The Journal, The Dawntreader, The High Window, The Ghost City Review, L’ Ephemere Review, Confluence, Marble and Polarity. In 2015, Matt won the Erbacce Prize for Poetry with his first full collection of poems Dystopia 38.10 (erbacce-press). Matt won the Into the Void Poetry Prize in 2017 with his poem, Elegy for Magdalene. 

Matt has previously published two chapbooks: One Million Tiny Cuts (Clare Song Birds Publishing House) and A Season in Another World (Thirty West Publishing House). In 2019 Matt was one of the winners of the Naji Naaman Literary Prize (Honours for Complete Works). His second full collection Woodworm (Hedgehog Poetry Press) was published in July 2019.

 

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