Poetry as a Lifeline: Mick Wood and Tim O’Leary

 

The 2012 Aldeburgh Poetry Festival runs for the 2nd-4th November, and for the next week, Ink Sweat & Tears will be featuring poems on the theme ‘Poetry as a Lifeline’ which is the subject of the IS&T-supported Discussions and Short Takes this year.   Find out more about the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival here

 

 

 

Blackstone Edge

 

This then: to photograph a rock, have it look

like a rock, but be more than a rock.

                                      Edward Weston

 

 

 

Waiting for the light

to lift a rutted cobble

 

from the Roman road.

For the sun to make gold

 

from this spine of lead,

opening the door

 

on a black passage down

to halls under heather

 

and teetering rock.

For a wind farm

 

to rewind the sky,

film and tapes of cloud

 

flung from its spools

on a silver horizon.

 

For the fell runner

who chases his legs

 

down the old pack road

to leak a long shadow.

 

For hackles and swords

to rise from Saddleworth,

 

roaring its traffic,

culverts, milestones,

 

scars. For the white lies

told by light and the eye.

 

For a pinch of wool

to fetch a salmon.

 

 

Mick Wood lives in Strasbourg where he works as a theatre practitioner. His poetry has been published in many magazines and has won a number of awards, including first prize in the 2009 Ledbury Poetry Festival competition.

 

 

 

 

The Place of Stones

from Aghaclogher, an Irish village name


The ether has emptied and seasons have gone, but winds bless winds within themselves and stones are freed with honing song. I am your ancestor, hewer of rocks, these are my signals of home. I warm to the force of this altered earth, how it prisms light from lough and sky, configuring the land for indisciplined eyes. This is the monument where memories reside, where, to mark our worth, we barter with gods, for excarnated serf or corbelled king.  It’s where men cluster from scattered farms, sharing their stories to the point of trust. Pouring in from the cursus, their gatherings assert: see us; know us; accept us. Exist and remember – how beautiful we’ve learned how we came to be; how beautiful the unknown, beyond quag and scree.

 

Tim O’Leary is a photographer relatively new to poetry. In the last eighteen months his work has been listed at Strokestown, Munster Lit Fest, Poetry on the Lake, Grist and Live Canon and has appeared in anthologies, e-zines and journals.

 

 

 

 

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Poetry as a Lifeline: Fady Joudah

 

 

The 2012 Aldeburgh Poetry Festival runs for the 2nd-4th November, and for the next week, Ink Sweat & Tears will be featuring poems on the theme ‘Poetry as a Lifeline’ which is the subject of the IS&T-supported Discussions and Short Takes this year.  Today’s poem is from Fady Joudah who is appearing at the Festival.  Find out more about the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival here

 

 

 

Tenor

 

To break with the past

Or break it with the past

The enormous car-packed

Parking lot flashes like a frozen body

Of water a paparazzi sea

After take off

 

And because the pigeons laid eggs and could fly

Because the kittens could survive

Under the rubble wrapped

In shirts of the dead

 

And the half-empty school benches

Where each boy sits next

To his absence and holds him

In the space between two palms

Pressed to a face

This world this hospice

 

 

Fady Joudah is a Palestinian-American physician whose first collection The Earth in the Attic (2008) won the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition.  He translates Zaqtan Ghassan, who appears on this site on 3rd November.

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Poetry as a Lifeline: Marcelle Olivier, Roy Marshall and Avril Joy

 

 

The 2012 Aldeburgh Poetry Festival runs for the 2nd-4th November, and for the next week, Ink Sweat & Tears is featuring poems on the theme ‘Poetry as a Lifeline’ which is the subject of the IS&T-supported Discussions and Short Takes this year.    Find out more about the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival here

 

maker

tuesday

 

what i made, from my dream, was a poem.

i grew the booming blush of its heart

from the fat tick of blood i found

clung to the fold of my thigh one night,

 

mid-cycle, and saw trickle down, stretched

like an ever-diluting flatworm, until it was dammed

by the back of my knee. i grew a heart from this

harvest and sewed it, still beating, into a rare bluebuck-skin pouch.

 

 

Marcelle Olivier is a poet and archaeologist. She divides her time between the UK and South Africa, and you can read more of her poetry in, amongst others, Oxford Poetry, New Contrast, and Carapace.

 

 

Life Line

And if you were gone it would be
as if the birds had left the sky.

How would I cut through the waves
I’m too tired to swim?

Holding you now, still
you pull me in.

 

 

Roy Marshall is a nurse and poet living in Leicestershire. He has been published in magazines in the UK and Ireland. His new pamphlet Gopagilla is  published by Crystal Clear Creators. Roy blogs. at roymarshall.wordpress.com

 

 

Migration

After ‘Katherine and Millie,’ Barbara Skingle.

 

We leave winter behind, travel across snow

me wearing little grandma’s coat; it smelling of her.

Three trains and a ferry boat and from the window

a red handkerchief like a flag in the flat above the butchers.

On deck we shout at the wind, my words fall in the space

between waves where you sit small bird, eye fixed on the storm.

Dark when we step on the quay, you fly up

and pierce my tongue. We live in silence then

your heart’s small pulse sharp as bone spur at my cheek,

your musk chicken feed and garden’s end whispering

if only I were invisible how I would sing, how I would

drink the rain from lily buds, open wings, grow into myself.

 

 

She brings the coat I slip it on, she says she sees herself

not flown, transparent little grandma’s hand in hers,

too old to leave. I wear my tie the colour of first blood,

the colour of handkerchiefs. She says – I thought perhaps

if I paint you like this – I say, paint something wonderful

to come, paint the birds to fly back in Spring, paint the birds.

 

 

 

Avril Joy has spent much of her working life inside a women’s prison. Her first novel, ‘The Sweet Track,’ was published in 2007 by Flambard Press.  She is currently writing short stories and poetry and can be found at www.avriljoy.com

 

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Poetry as a Lifeline: D. Nurkse

 

The 2012 Aldeburgh Poetry Festival runs for the 2nd-4th November, and for the next week, Ink Sweat & Tears will be featuring poems on the theme ‘Poetry as a Lifeline’ which is the subject of the IS&T-supported Discussions and Short Takes this year.  Today’s poem is from D. Nurkse who is appearing at the Festival.  Find out more about the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival here

 

 

The Codes

Command v. Bradley Manning

 

Because I stole the codes, they make me sleep naked.

At nineteen hours, two agents collect my shirt,

pants, shorts–-I had never had laces or a belt.

Their eyes burn behind identical ski masks

but they never speak, touch, or look at me.

Perhaps if they did, they couldn’t make love

to their girlfriends in the city. Or they have orders.

They wear white latex gloves and their boots

are wrapped in cellophane. One has tongs. I get a sheet,

but at dawn I give it up and stand nude at attention

outside the triple-ply steel door. One guards me

with a drawn Glock, the other searches my cell,

though there is nothing, a board, a slop-hole.

At certain angles he puts his hand over the camera

so he won’t be recognized a thousand years from now.

I guess this, I can’t focus, my eyes are forward.

You will see a whorled thumb print, a smudge of hair,

then the tape will show my dangling sex, my pale belly,

my thick yellow toenail, because I stole the codes.

 

 

Dennis Nurkse teaches at the Sarah Lawrence College and is on the board of Amnesty International USA.  He was shortlisted  for the 2011  Forward Prize for Voices Over Water.  A Night in Brooklyn (2012) is his ninth collection.

 

 

Notes: “This poem re-imagines the actual pretrial detention conditions of Bradley Manning, the young soldier who publicized confidential files in the Wiki leaks case. The poem would hope to bridge–to an infinitesimal degree, at best–the isolation of the prisoner and the outside world.”  The Codes is  forthcoming in The Manhattan Review.

 

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Aldeburgh Poetry Festival

The 2012 Poetry Festival is less than a week away and from tomorrow, Ink Sweat and Tears will be featuring poems on the theme ‘Poetry as a Lifeline’ which is the subject of the IS&T-supported Discussions and Short Takes this year. Contributors include a number of the poets involved in these events and we are also featuring a poem, from Short Takes poet Andrea Porter, on our new postcards which will be available at the Snape venues.

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Martin Redfern

 

 

The tone of your voice


I watch you answer the phone.

From the tone of your voice,

I realise it’s over.

 

I hear the tenderness

I had understood was mine.

You run your fingers through your hair,

The breeze unsettling your dress.

I comb your exquisite face

To search for hope.

But your eyes are exuberant now,

You overflow with him.

 

I want to plead for what we once had -

Instead I say nothing.

How do I tell you what you have told me?
 

 

 

Martin Redfern was brought up in the West Midlands and has lived in Edinburgh since the 1990s.  A publisher by occupation, Martin also writes short stories and poetry. He’s uncertain whether he’s poacher turned game-keeper or vice versa….

 

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Fiona Donaghey

 

 

 

Going Home

 

The house has grown small and fragile.

The ghosts at the top of the stairs

are now cupboards

 

holding dolls that are strange

and worn and familiar,

 

they suffocate the  excitement of childhood.

 

Somewhere inside I am bitter

that life is drifting

 

my heart is fretful

and the ticking of time

cheats me as the clock doubles up
on its tick-tock

 

 

Fiona Donaghey was born in Dublin and moved to Norwich twelve years ago.  She is a mature Student  studying for a BA Hons Degree in English with Cultural Studies at City College Norwich. She has been writing poetry for seven years . Her poetry has been placed in competitions and in The Poetry Rivals Anthology.

 

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