Maxine Rose Munro

 

 

 

On the edge of the Arctic

If the light were to leave our world,
what of it? We would gather
with fire under sturdy roof.
We would share spirits
and stories, songs,
laughter.
We would sleep
soft in warmth of ourselves.
If the light stuck up above, day
and night, well what of that?
We would work our skills,
sail over horizons.
We would seek
things
to be sought, go
or stay as we felt we should.
If you don’t suppose I speak true,
visit with me.
It is north,
then north some more.

 

 

Maxine Rose Munro writes in English and her native Shetlandic Scots. She is widely published, including being a previous Ink Sweat & Tears Pick of the Month. She is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. www.maxinerosemunro.com

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July’s Pick of the Month is ‘He grows’ by Maxine Rose Munro

Voters loved the spareness – ‘concise and succinct’ – and ‘the absolute enormity of restlessness conveyed’ through the poem’s structure as well as its language. So for these reasons, and more, the excellent ‘He grows’ by Maxine Rose Munro is the IS&T Pick of the Month for July 2019. Huge congratulations to her!

Maxine is a Scottish poet who writes in both English and her native Shetlandic Scots. She is widely published in the UK, in print and online, including Ink Sweat & Tears, and her work has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Find her here www.maxinerosemunro.com

 

He grows 

I gave birth to Restless, and oh how
he prowls this house, testing, testing
the strength of my walls. Pushing
at limits to find weaknesses he
stores for future use, careful
with his words. He knows
soon will come his
time, not mine.

I gave birth to Restless
and, oh! how he grows and grows.

 

Other voters’ comments included:

A simple encapsulation of what every parent goes through as they realise what they’ve brought into the world.

I like the abstract/personification ‘Restless’ moves through the poem. I also enjoy how the word lends itself to more than one significance in the context of the poem.

She captures a feeling of anxiety associated with restlessness in so few words. Spare. I like spare!

Her alliteration captures attention

An interesting way of exploring this topic.

How clever to turn the poet’s own restlessness into a third-person (male) entity to complain about, whilst acknowledging that she created the condition herself. And I love the poem’s concision.

I knew exactly what the writer was saying.

I love this poem, lots of lovely tension, it verges on eery for me. A snapshot in a big story.

For me, it captures the vitality and curiosity of a spirit that can’t be constrained.

The structure and language of the poem really gives strength to the feeling of restlessness.

It intrigues me. One of these hauntingly beautiful poems that leaves me wondering if I see the same as the poet in its words, or are we divided by a common language. Wonderful.

Her poetry is so fixed in the real emotions of everyday life.

The poignancy and relatability of it

A poem about the other self. I liked the layout, fretful lines getting shorter and then growing uneasily.

Her poems take me into my dream world

an instant connection from the first line

instant and vivid

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Maxine Rose Munro

 

 

 

He grows 

I gave birth to Restless, and oh how
he prowls this house, testing, testing
the strength of my walls. Pushing
at limits to find weaknesses he
stores for future use, careful
with his words. He knows
soon will come his
time, not mine.

I gave birth to Restless
and, oh! how he grows and grows.

 

 

 

Maxine Rose Munro is a Scottish poet who writes in both English and her native Shetlandic Scots. She is widely published in the UK, in print and online, including Ink, Sweat and Tears, and her work has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Find her here www.maxinerosemunro.com

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Maxine Rose Munro

 

 

Word Child 

The child who has never seen trees
won’t trust words because there’s never
not another, better way to say it.

She thinks word lovers are like over-eager
victorian collectors pinning down butterflies
and beetles in glass coffins.

As if alive could be found in dead things.
As if to capture a thing wouldn’t constrain it.
As if all it was was all that could be seen.

Or mattered.

And those poetic, specific words of her birth tongue –
lönabrak, brimtud, affrug, shoormal –
beautiful fetters that trap the thing.

As if the thing could ever be uttered, as if life
could be told so easily. As if the role of poetry
wasn’t to exquisitely fail

to show us wonders we never can speak of.
 

 

 

Lönabrak – swell & surge breaking on the shore 
Brimtud – sound of breaking on the shore 
Affrug – reflux of waves after having broken on the shore 
Shoormal – high water mark; the water’s edge

 

Maxine Rose Munro is widely published in print and online, including Ink, Sweat and Tears. She also publishes poetry in her native Shetlandic Scots, some of which can be found in Poetry Scotland and Three Drops from a Cauldron. www.maxinerosemunro.com

 

 

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Maxine Rose Munro

 

 

 

A Simple Dish

Bones of the sea pour out
a salt shaker into the pot.
Delicate, desiccated hedge
from far, far away adds flavour
and aroma. Dried fungi float,
neither plant nor animal,
unique in this world – trick
of evolution or God’s touch?
Shattered sticks of pasta
become agile eels as h2o
transubstantiates into
ephemeral gas. All the while
everything is stirred by a hand
formed of multitudes of cells,
each and every one a one
in billions chance miracle.

 

 

 

 

 

Maxine Rose Munro is a Shetlander adrift on the outskirts of Glasgow. Her work has appeared in The Open Mouse; Ink, Sweat and Tears; and Pushing Out the Boat among others. Follow her here facebook.com/maxinerosemunro

 

 

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Maxine Rose Munro

 

Moving On

Disjointed we sit amid boxes, you and I
lost in the tape and wrap of it all. New
life for us we had said. Our old life had
floundered, had stalled so soon after
birth we had not recognized the truth
till now. You make me coffee. Kettle
boils on bare boards, we drink it out
of washed out jam jars left on a shelf.
We joke it is avant-garde, funky, cool.
It is not. I wonder where to start to
begin to unpick our world. To bring
to light things we had covered over
in the rush, the need to be somewhere
else. Maybe I think I should leave it
boxed, become someone else without
baggage. Maybe I think there is hope.
But I think none of these things. Instead
I take your hand, lift you off the floor.
And together we open the first box.

 

Maxine Rose Munro is a Shetlander adrift on the outskirts of Glasgow. Her work has appeared in Sarasvati, Open Mouse and Obsessed With Pipework, among others. Find her here facebook.com/maxinerosemunro

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Vote! Time To Choose Your Pick of the Month for July 2019

There’s an energy and a restlessness that pervades the poems in our shortlist for the IS&T Pick of the Month for July! In fact, in Maxine Rose Munro‘s ‘He grows’, the narrator gives birth to a ‘Restless’ that cannot be held down, while William Stephenson refuses to hold back the ‘rising buzz’ in his ‘On the Origin of Electrofunk by Natural Selection’ and Jack Little reveals a sleeping beast in ‘The Metro after 1AM’. A tumultuous teenage past – ‘the addictive thrill of cheating/the drumming heartbeat’ – infuses Golnoosh Nour‘s ‘Blood Days’ and we feel an extreme tension, a ‘Struggling to breathe’, in ‘Seats’ by Dipo Baruwa-Etti. Finally, Chrissy Banks is on the edge of something both wounding and exhilarating with ‘If you don’t come back’.

All six works have been chosen by Helen or Kate or received the most attention on social media. They can be found below or by clicking on ‘Vote for your July 2019 Pick of the Month′ in the Categories list to your right on the screen.

Voting is now closed. July’s ‘Pick’ will be announced at 4pm (BST) on Tuesday 20th August.

The winner each month will be sent a £10 book giftcard or, if preferred, a donation of the same amount will be made to a chosen charity. In the event of the winner being from outside the UK mainland, we will make every effort to provide a reasonable alternative. All shortlisted poetry Picks, provided they remain unpublished and meet other eligibility criteria, will be considered as IS&T submissions for the annual Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. (‘Frequency Violet’ by Kate Edwards was a Pick of the Month for November 2017 and was Highly Commended by the 2018 judges. It features in The Forward Book of Poetry 2019.)

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