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 online-health-pharm.com 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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