Love the startling imagery in this poem by Dmitry Blizniuk
DON’T BE SAD, CHRYSOSTOM
Rural silence is a thick sandwich with butter
Generously sprinkled with the sugar of meadow dragonflies.
Nothing’s going to happen here in this century.
No one’s waiting for you in the Future Simple.
When the reddish, high in hemoglobin, blueness of the evening sweeps over you, Carnivorous stars start moving their nippers.
They are real and terrible here;
They are not sick city animals muzzled with smog.
You can gnaw on the candied nuts of constellations if you like.
The moon is screwed up to the skies for centuries
Like a basketball hoop,
But an eagle-owl flies too high for a three-point shot.
A couple eat each other under a dark window:
The skin of the stumpy, thick-braided girl
Is covered in moon dust, which tastes of unwashed soap.
The kisses are rough and greedy sweet and sickly, like Turkish delight.
Such an intoxicating stability reigns…
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Delighted to have two poems published in Toasted Cheese – link above
To celebrate International Women’s Day I asked you for your thoughts and inspirations. ENJOY!
POETS/POEMS – Recommended Reads
Rachel Curzon – Scan poem – highly recommended (Faber and Faber) – Michelle Diaz
Julia Copus any of her spectacular poems, just so very cleverly constructed but the form is always appropriate to the meaning. – Nikki Fine
Colette Bryce who I was lucky enough to do a workshop with last year as part of a local literary festival. – Penny Blackburn
Gillian Allnutt – Ode. I read poetry on my Sociology/Social Policy under graduate course. – Rachel Burns
Mary Oliver I’m reading more of her work and folding over the corners of so many favourite poems in each book…when I run out of post-it notes! I grew up in inner city Birmingham & moved to London at 18, and it’s only in my 40’s that I discovered nature and now understand what all…
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Your child runs alongside you, her laughter
rises into the air like sea fret, it is raining
the sky milky grey, you taste salt on your lips
you stop, bend down to pick up a shell
you press the conch to her ear
What can you hear?
The roar of the sea.
You walk along the beach, drifters sift
through the driftwood of their lives
carrying crochet hemp bags
filled with smooth rocks.
Gulls soar through the air,
You teach your daughter
to sort the good wood from the bad
that the sea is neither blue nor green
that the rocks are neither rugged nor smooth
but somewhere in-between.
POPPIES IN OCTOBER
Red poppies in the field rattle around next to dog daisies
colours that bleed into each other as a train on the horizon
trundles along the East Coast Main line like a boy’s Hornby train
on a miniature track. A grouse is flushed from its hiding place
the disembodied cry rises like a wounded child.
The sky is flawless ― clouds look like a Simpson’s cartoon.
She sees him in the blue sky, the wheat fields there is no escaping him, the smell of his skin
his warm breath, her little boy laid to rest.
Rachel Burns is currently an Arvon/Jerwood mentee in playwriting. Poems shortlisted in competitions Mslexia, Writers’ & Artists Yearbook and The Keats- Shelley Poetry Prize 2017.
The sky is a blank canvass
outside I can see slate grey
roofs of the neighbours’ houses
the village green
and the children’s swing frame
and the flowers are all gone
just the red berries on the juniper remain
reminding me of red cherry lip gloss
I wore to my first school disco
At Our Lady’s Immaculate
dancing with John- Paul
who last I heard joined the army.
I have the radio on in the background
and I hear the song
and I’m sorting out chapters
re-reading the words
my protagonist sailing her boat
out to sea- the white sail
buffering against the wind
the whole time fighting the tide
sailing the wrong way
the whole time fighting the waves
words disappearing like a blur from the page.
Jan in the snow
It is snowing thick and fast on this lonely Thursday afternoon, and I miss you.
Snow lines the rooftops of red brick houses, white against an even whiter sky.
Trees spread their charcoal branches, thumb smudged on the stark winter page.
Children play, throwing snowballs. I hear their laughter through the frozen
window pane and I remember when we were both about nine, you
in your blue duffle and bobble hat. I was wearing a red hooded coat
throwing snowballs in the park, until our fingers were numb and our feet felt like blocks of ice in our wellingtons. Remember, the school bus got stuck
half way up the bank, the bus driver saying, it’s no use, you’ll have to get off.
A whole day of no school, making a snowmen until after dark,
two lumps of coal for eyes, orange peel for a mouth that you turned upside down
to make a frown, a stick for a nose because Mam said no when you asked for a carrot.
Food doesn’t grow on trees, she chased you out of the kitchen, cuffing you
around the head until your ears went red. You cried like a baby.
We loved every crystalline flake of it. The next day it melted away.
You stood disappointed in the blackened slush, shouting, no, no, no.
Sightseers, 5th December, Poem of theDay
We visit the same haunts every year
our children’s lives marked
by brightly coloured pins
in the Ordnance Survey map.
Charting stumbling toddler years
to teenage angst, until they disappear
from camera view, exams taking hold
and later preferring to travel
further and wider, backpacking
across Europe, sleeping in hostels
cooling their heels on the InterRail car.
Yet when we travel, we carry
the memory of the children
they once were, through city trails
across familiar landscapes, the hillsides
the beaches, the hundred acre woods.
We hear our children’s laughter
in the grounds of ruined castles
running up the steep steps on cliff walks.
Voices shouting over crashing waves.
We stand on high bridges
looking down over the edge
awed by the sheer drop.
It is as if they have never left us.
We are sightseers still.