Elegy for Olive Oyl (3rd prize: 2014 Competition)

I’ll go back to painters and whistles, shipwreck gardens Turk’s Heads, leaden hearts and let the winds their revels keep.   I’ll go back to the water for something to …

Nightjar (1st prize: 2014 Competition)

‘Du hast einen Vogel.’ German. Literally: ‘You have a bird.’ Figuratively: ‘You’re mad.’   What thing entered just now, its dive-knife head quite sailing through the rucked sail of my …

In Time of War

And so we stayed, night after night lying awake until the moons fell behind the blackened cypress, and bats returned to their caverns having gorged on the night air, and …

6 a.m. (2nd prize: 2014 Competition)

Love, I felt you leave our bed last night, I heard you dress and go. Hush-deep darkness hinted it was late. You barely left an indent in your pillow, your …

2014 Competition: Commended Poems

Paul Stephenson for ‘Oppositions of Want’ Tim Turnbull for ‘Happy Times, Old Man’ Geraldine Clarkson for ‘Love-Cow’ Bethany W Pope for ‘My Mother’s Keeshond’

Far-Fetched

Das ist der doux commerce! – Karl Marx   Ay de mi – a pin- prick of blood, scarcely more than a pore flaunting its friendship with a vein; bright …

Pareidolia

Melted likeness in the mountain’s landslide, like the prophet in a crust of bread, defers to the face in the brain that is part idolatry, part will to survive. We …

The Animals That Love You, At Dusk

I pass through the fig that is your body your compass rose in its ripeness it owns both nadir & zenith I pass above & beneath it while all around …

Stoppages

(after M. Duchamp)   A line cast over water settles on the water skin. Salmon engage in piscine trigonometry, track the crooked trajectory of light. Pouting courtiers, indifferent to our …

Pantheon

Pan follows you to a wet wall to pebble dash your hopes that you’d at least seen some green in the fair silos. Shivered when you felt intentions were not …

To all laments and purposes

Against platinum birches I want nothing here [but you].   We have trees at home. Shall I wing you the courtyard fountain’s   midnight palaver, to lull the list of …

Canakkale

All but a century gone. By the thousand, pinned down on slopes, on beachheads shot to death, and rawboned, ours and theirs, blown to pieces. Two-faced anthropos, late again, stirs …

Control

I’m reading some things Charlie wrote about cancer and Colette because I can’t sleep and because what he wrote is beautiful and it’s cold outside because it’s November and my …

Apologies from the Ground Up

The staircase hasn’t changed much through the centuries I’d notice it, my own two eyes now breaking down the larger vertical distance into many smaller distances I’ll conquer almost absently: …

! (‘It entered creation…’)

It entered creation as sudden as angel or injury – the stacked letters of io, a tower of fire. Already it is intimate with bishops, philosophers, flouting borders, stowed in …