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





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




After ‘Katherine and Millie,’ Barbara Skingle.


We leave winter behind, klonopin online buy 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



  1. Maureen Weldon

    These poems by : Marcelle Olivier, Roy Maeshall, Avril Joy are very beautiful.

  2. deardeardot

    This poetry is superb: I particularly like Avril Joy!

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