Twenty-six days ago, I started my #52DaysofXmas twitter and Linked In sharing of snippets from my collection plenty-fish. There are 52 poems in the collection, and, each day until Christmas, I am posting a snippet from one poem.

In part, this is a marketing campaign – coinciding with special offer prices on my two full collections published this year and a special bundle price for both. (Details can be found here.) But, me being me, there were also creative reasons for doing this. I was interested to see what links between the poems, or threads through the collection, this might reveal. I also wanted to see if the snippets might come together as some kind of whole in their own right. So, below is the result from the first half (26 days). (When choosing snippets to post, it wasn’t with the end result in mind, simply what seemed to be the best snippet form each poem, given the size restriction of tweets. Also, in bringing them together here, I have not played with order or changing punctuation etc – that is something which may follow later.)

Plenty-Fish (part one)

Two things which life does not allow:
words that can be throated back,
and bullets which re-enter a gun…

silver spoons glinting on porcelain,
beside thin cuts of lemon drizzle…

his mouth moon-craters my flesh,
curves tiny ribbons in flushed skin…

Unseam a red circle; cut deeper.
Not for a bitter scream’s squeezed juice

cradled in my mother’s strange young arms.
Her voice
is hushed sea in a shell, a whispered name’s
sounds spliced…

often clattering in cutlery harmonics;
cutlass-bent stabbing ice from the freezer…

his lips on the rim of my white espresso cup;
his long fingers, stirring;

I bite down on the memory
because I do, and suck the night without moon,
the shrivelled fruit berried without juice.

Viewed from here, our moon’s sphere
is flatter than the world he left behind.

Leaves scramble dogwood;
mute green-veined tongues hide
blackbirds and loosed flowers…

my fingers butterfly
through air; dive from the page –
my mind’s wrecked lake…

Longing pulls us to sure gaps
between words, hands, lips –
to lunge…

A leopard that transforms its spots
without using paint, or photoshop.

We are not pilgrims. Our feet ache, tempers
stumble in the Venetian heat. We seek…

It’s his hands, always his hands.

How fingertips skip from the keyboard
to play arpeggios along my arm.

Dad’s breath shrinks and expands
the room behind me.

As we lick the last meringue sweetness
from our spoons, metal shines

brighter than white bones picked clean.

I pick up my machine, black weight
of electronics, and slot myself in.
Electricity ticks unheard, sparks ignite.

Pikawotsit’s an electric creature. This much
I’ve gleaned, I think. I’ve asked –
but Pikadespeak’s faster than light-speed.

Absence is required at the school gate;
my kisses less than a wisp
of mist on the morning’s
laughter-strung air.

Flutter-fingered, my son drops
an unopened sachet of sugar
into his cappuccino froth.

You should be grown tall by now.
But I can still hold you: fossilised
fragments from the scan…

Blue lights sequence incessantly –
LED-blips strung at life’s corners…

my childhood laughter
is dislodged from old gables.
Unsettled dust layers my wet face.


Other snippets of news

plentyfish cover (1)plenty-fish now comes with free audio of the full collection – available from Nine Arches Press!

My poem ‘The Coastguard’s Grand-daughter’ wins third prize in the Salopian Poetry Society Open Poetry Competition 2015.

My poem ‘Facts of/for/against Survival’ published on the International Times.

Two of my poems – ‘Selfish’ and ‘Snowlike’ – published in The Frogmore Papers.

Hearth is reviewed: “Hearth is almost a lost book, merging nursery rhyme, folklore and homespun tales of tea and china: a fable of flickering coals, to be read aloud on a winter’s evening. All the poems are written by poets at the top of their game, maestros of their art. I cannot recommend this book enough.” Grant Tabard, Sabotage Reviews [Full review with detailed quotes and comments here.]

Three poems – ‘Road-Tripping/Remixing Life’s Playlist/In The Gaps’, ‘Instrumental’ and ‘Still Tuning’ – published in Yesterday’s Music Today, an anthology published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press.

Yesterday’s Music Today reviewed on International Times.

Poems accepted for new blogzine for linguistically innovative poetry, The Curly Mind.

Solstice shortsMy poetry sequence ‘At the Hotel de la Lune’ accepted for the Arachne Press Longest Day anthology and solstice performance. Details here and a crowdfunder (with lots of fabulous rewards for sponsors) here – this is in its last few hours now, so do be quick if you want to snap up any of these offers!

Six weeks left to enter this year’s Mother’s Milk Books Writing Prize, where I will be judging the poetry sections.