With Persommon Xmas 2015

My festive greetings to one and all this Christmas and New Year period with the poem above (first published on Ink, Sweat & Tears last year) and also the second and final part of my plenty-fish poem created from snippets tweets from each poem in the collection. (An alternative seasonal poem specifically for those who don’t mark Christmas as a religious occasion may be found here.)

Plenty-Fish (part two)

Give them a bigger tank to swim in:
a glassed reality of gravel and weeds.

Twelve eyes of flattened metal
hole-punched with night.

From these ‘ghost’ chambers
hollowed into pig and rat hearts…

Forget gravity, forget north –
this force is in all directions.

That winter I hang with the bees
above hibernation and frost.

It clutches ghosts while we sleep,
brittles grass, fragments paths,
corpses leaves…

Light shifts. I see a French knot,
legs unpicking silk stitches,

…Always a fly,
the smallest of things,
this full stop with wings

The psychologist stares; tick.
As if eyes are glass openings,
and he’s trying to lift the catch;


Now he is hunched emptiness,
face buried in their bed…

she hears his ear unspiral;
her teeth crunch on bone”

Night digs at the sun, buries its dirt
in her nails. The music’s bruise turns…

That changeling inside her,
its stained-glass feathers clinking…

This fossil alters the shape of my palm.
Flesh moulds to its mineral coldness,

This case shimmers with lives
spun from sun, textured
with oceans, forests, skies…

The porch collects birch twigs, cats
and a spellbinding past…

The echo of his whispers / fills your mind with snow;
a blizzard of thoughts / swirled
to red-edged numbness.

His hand cupping a spider, wrist trembling;
a thin branch in the wind,

A rhythm river trimmed
with reeds,
silver fish & light slivers

fisticuff birdsong
cold creeps through cracks, rattles doors
ice hardens edges

As marbled wax melts, flickers
of unknown lives beckon
from fire’s hypnotic chaining.

In stubbled grass, stags arch.
Sparked clouds held high, patches
of sky hang from their antlers.

Stubborn roots draw up strength
from the land’s glacial inheritance.

The black spot is on our hands.

Other snippets of news:

‘Thick-skinned, Thin-fleshed’ (about living with diabetes type 1) poem in London Grip;
‘Means to an End’ published on The Curly Mind;
King of Paroles and Histoires‘ (a homage to Jacques Prévert after the style of Geoffrey Hills’ Mercian Hymns )published on The Curly Mind;
Connected poems ‘Firestorm at Yosemite & F r st rm t  Y s m t published on The Curly Mind;
What it is to be a leaf/woman/layers of metamorphosis‘ published on The Curly Mind;
‘The Other One’ ( a poem about Niobium) published in the My Dear Watson anthology from Beautiful Dragons Press, with a poem for each of the 118 elements in the periodic table;
‘Ghosts’, ‘Ponte San Christoforo’ and ‘La Resistenza’ published as part of Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn’s novel The Broken Road;
‘Phlegmatic’ flash fiction accepted for the February 2016 issue of The Ofi Press Magazine;
Delighted to get a small mention in Geraldine Clarkson’s reading list over on the Poetry Foundation blog;
My poem ‘Unspilled’ accepted for the Ink, Sweat & Tears Twelve Days of Christmas feature, for 31 Dec, 2015;
The Magnetic Diaries and plenty-fish listed as works eligible for this year’s Ted Hughes Award.