Helen Pletts & Romit Berger on the Day of the Global Climate Strike


 
 
freshwater bio sonar boto
 
freshwater bio sonar boto
over-hunted through the flooded forests
 
 
agile Amazon pinkness with tactile whiskers
 
 
tiny-spiny dolphin-teeth murky-snouting
red bellied piranhas, croakers and catfish
 
 
#climatestrike  #schoolstrike4climate #fridaysforfuture #climatecrisis #gretathunberg

 

 

Helen Pletts (www.helenpletts.com ) whose two collections, Bottle bank and For the chiding dove, are published by YWO/Legend Press (supported by The Arts Council) and available on Amazon. ‘Bottle bank’ was longlisted for The Bridport Poetry Prize 2006, under Helen’s maiden name, Bannister. Also published in Aesthetica, Orbis, The Fenland Reed. Working collaboratively on Word and Image (published exclusively by www.inksweatandtears.co.uk) with Romit Berger, illustrator, since 2012. Helen’s poetry was longlisted for The Rialto Nature and Place Competition 2018 and shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize in 2018. Helen’s poem The Grey Seal Speaks was selected in 2019 for the climate change awareness anthology entitled ‘Planet in Peril’ available from https://www.flyonthewallpoetry.co.uk/planet-in-peril

Image by Romit Berger who says “I am a graphic designer and artist, living in Prague for the past 
ten years. In 2008 I joined a writing group – English is not my native
 language but I graduated from an international school, so it is a part 
of my life ever since. I feel that the dual process of finding words to
 describe mind images and illustrating written words, opens a new 
exciting dimension of creativity for me.

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Your Pick of the Month for March is this fine Word & Image offering from Helen Pletts and Romit Berger!

 

Helen Pletts has been working collaboratively with Romit Berger since 2012 and that these wonderful Word & Image pieces have been published exclusively by IS&T makes it fitting that, having been shortlisted before, they are voted as Pick of the Month the second time round – for the exquisite ‘The plane tree entertains the circus of doves’.

Voters used the words ‘beautiful’ and ‘evocative’ again and again. They praised the connection between the text and the visual, the ‘striking language and strong imagery’.

Helen and Romit have asked that their £10 ‘prize’ be donated to The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

Helen (www.helenpletts.com ) has two collections, Bottle bank and For the chiding dove, published by YWO/Legend Press (supported by The Arts Council) and available on Amazon. Bottle bank was longlisted for The Bridport Poetry Prize 2006 (under Helen’s maiden name, Bannister). She is also published in Aesthetica, Orbis and The Fenland Reed. Helen’s poetry was longlisted for The Rialto Nature and Place Competition 2018 and shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize in 2018.

Romit: ‘I am a graphic designer and artist, living in Prague for the past 
ten years. In 2008 I joined a writing group – English is not my native
 language but I graduated from an international school, so it is a part 
of my life ever since. I feel that the dual process of finding words to
 describe mind images and illustrating written words, opens a new 
exciting dimension of creativity for me.’

 

 

 

The plane tree entertains the circus of doves

Stripped of spindly epicormic shoots, the now-knuckle-tree jabs her skeletal arms over the snapped stale breaths of pale, orange shavings powdering the tree surgeon’s yellow truck. Her psoriatic plane-bones arthrite in the grey sky. Knotted; hunched naked like the great distorted central pole of a marquee. Feather me, she says. Don’t leave me open-necked up-holding this soft circus. Perched in the flaking gnarl the little skull-caps are grey with it too. They dot her fleshlessness with incredulous brows. Tremble at the amplified sirens of daysound. Blink bright as part of the canopy of constellations later on in the dark.

*********

Voters’ comments included:

The text is so atmospheric and full of subtle feelings… and the artwork is evocative and beautiful.

The symmetry between the words and the sketch is perfect

ORIGINALITY ! There is a delight in pure diction here, a tenderness of imagery, and a subtly moving visual response to the prose poem by Romit Berger.

It’s the combination of the words and the image: each feeds the other, and you have to look back and forth between the two to savour the whole.

Great visual description

I love the imagery it evokes, the drawing that goes along with it. It feels very raw and present

The vivid description and sorrow of the tree

It makes me think of all the trees that are cut often/ cut back so much these days to make room for more houses/offices.

I find the visualisation particularly moving. Giving soul to our living world.

It’s amazing!

Great combination of fine writing and graphic.

The imagery was vivid yet vague, gave a chilling warmth and familiarity. beautiful and eerie.

Beautiful collaboration with poetry full of fantastic imagery

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Word & Image by Helen Pletts and Romit Berger

 

 

 

 

The plane tree entertains the circus of doves

 

Stripped of spindly epicormic shoots, the now-knuckle-tree jabs her skeletal arms over the snapped stale breaths of pale, orange shavings powdering the tree surgeon’s yellow truck. Her psoriatic plane-bones arthrite in the grey sky. Knotted; hunched naked like the great distorted central pole of a marquee. Feather me, she says. Don’t leave me open-necked up-holding this soft circus. Perched in the flaking gnarl the little skull-caps are grey with it too. They dot her fleshlessness with incredulous brows. Tremble at the amplified sirens of daysound. Blink bright as part of the canopy of constellations later on in the dark.

 

 

 

Words by Helen Pletts (www.helenpletts.com ) whose two collections, Bottle bank and For the chiding dove, are published by YWO/Legend Press (supported by The Arts Council) and available on Amazon. Bottle bank was longlisted for The Bridport Poetry Prize 2006 (under Helen’s maiden name, Bannister). Also published in Aesthetica, Orbis, The Fenland Reed. Working collaboratively on Word and Image (published exclusively by www.inksweatandtears.co.uk) with Romit Berger, illustrator, since 2012. Helen’s poetry was longlisted for The Rialto Nature and Place Competition 2018 and shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize in 2018.

Image by Romit Berger who says “I am a graphic designer and artist, living in Prague for the past 
ten years. In 2008 I joined a writing group – English is not my native
 language but I graduated from an international school, so it is a part 
of my life ever since. I feel that the dual process of finding words to
 describe mind images and illustrating written words, opens a new 
exciting dimension of creativity for me.

 

 

 

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On the Second Day of Christmas, we bring you Anne Bailey, Mick Corrigan, and Helen Pletts & Romit Berger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round Robin

The north wind doth blow,
and we shall have snow,
and what will the Robin do then?

James played his first piano piece in public
In June we lost our much loved cat
David has done less flying this year

Poor Thing,

We finally carpeted all the upstairs
The social life here is absolutely wonderful
A plumber set fire to the back of the house

He’ll sit in a barn,

Karen graduated in September
Jamie is teaching English in a Tibetan Monastery in India
Flowers seem to have taken over my life

And keep himself warm,

The Cats have settled in well and the tortoise
We still walk beside the sea before breakfast
Raleigh was hit by the school bus

And hide his head under his wing,

Pam’s mum had a fall (which did prove fatal)
Phil is still busy teaching air warfare
I learnt a traditional method of Portuguese carpet making

Poor thing,

We crossed rivers endlessly on horseback
Eagles and Kites flying overhead
Sarah got another degree – her third

Poor Thing.

 

Anne Bailey, originally from Yorkshire is a poet living and writing in North Norfolk. She has had her work published in various journals.

 

 

 

Advent

These are the days of opening and offering morsels of chocolate or wise, kindly words,

of frost in the hedgerows and robins on a branch while the Bethlem boys beat the tar off each other over the saviour’s shoe size and the length of his beard,

religious men driven to madness or heading there on foot as Christ on a bicycle goes pedaling past.

These are the days of unvarnished truth told to your boss at the office party, of counting the days to your disciplinary hearing, the seasonal spirits claiming yet another lemming.

These are the days of “what the fuck was I thinking” of “FOMO made me do it Judge, I should have left at a respectable hour” of glitter, glitz and things that smell of coconut though not in a good way.

Of roaring fires and fuckwit fools doing the twelve pubs in shit shirts, festive hats and a lurking violence waiting to erupt like a stripper from a cake,

of “all you need is love” condoms and at least a basic understanding of what constitutes consent.
These are the days of memory loss and existential dread, of unexpected kindness from those you didn’t think capable though hostilities resume in January,

of those who are gone, revisiting for a moment to say “hello” or “I fucking told you so”
of broken sheds with yawing roofs where exhausted women and terrified kids

lie down in dirty straw to sleep.

 

 

 

Mick Corrigan’s debut collection, Deep Fried Unicorn, was released in to the wild in early 2015 by Rebel Poetry, Ireland. His poem, Snowbound was nominated for a Pushcart Prize 2018 by San Pedro Review, USA, his poem, If Harry Clarke made a stained-glass window for the Magdalene Women was nominated for a Forward Poetry Prize 2018 by Poetry Bus, Ireland. His second collection Life Coaching for Gargoyles will be launched, like a clown from a cannon, in early 2019.

 

 

 
We proffer milk to the holler-wool jaws

we proffer milk to the holler-wool jaws
from a glass gin bottle
to the gnash on teat
orphan-drawn in seconds
bulk-white in the darkness at the stone of the house

 

 

Words by Helen Pletts (www.helenpletts.com ) whose two collections, Bottle bank and For the chiding dove, are both published by YWO/Legend Press (supported by The Arts Council) and available on Amazon. ‘Bottle bank’ was longlisted for The Bridport Poetry Prize 2006, under Helen’s maiden name of Bannister. Working collaboratively on Word and Image with Romit Berger, illustrator, since 2012.

Image by Romit Berger who says “I am a graphic designer and artist, living in Prague for the past 
ten years. In 2008 I joined a writing group – English is not my native
 language but I graduated from an international school, so it is a part 
of my life ever since. I feel that the dual process of finding words to
 describe mind images and illustrating written words, opens a new 
exciting dimension of creativity for me.

 

 

 

 

 

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Helen Pletts

 

 

 

The Monster London Fatberg
 
Hi, Berg here. Call me Fats.
I slug-slither with the rats; creep-crawl, clog up the tunnel.
City-cloy the disposables; white, non-perishable, two-hundred and fifty metres, –
consistency unmentionable.
There’s no green, blue, or black bin big enough for me
No sack to hold this lard-fest in check. Flushed it all away,
you thought it was gone forever, – the dirty nappy, those wet wipes, last night’s condom,
the dribble-congeal of the Sunday roast. You fed our sewers
with the residue of the animals of the world; as walking processors,
where the pipe goes nobody knows but I’ve collected it all
and now I am set-in as newfound ingesting-geography
for the fleeting pink feet of rodents
with my off-white, sog-stuffed, bilious peaks.
 
There are days when I feel beautiful, powerful, wasticus maximus
when I grow another stretch of gunk beneath Hackney,
maybe you’ve smelt me ? through a blow-hole on your way to work
my strench running parallel to the Metropolitan line.
You don’t have ownership of your waste, it’s mine now; see me grow
bulge and suffocate the flow of excrement with tampons, toilet paper, cotton wool, hair
and finger nails; cotton buds in amongst the rats tails. Quick-creep my furry
livers ‘n breathers, mould me with your tiny feet, breathe my sweat; engage me.
The sewage treaters are coming for my heart and soul to a-boil me for fuel for London’s
big red buses. Catalytic-calmed you will no-longer smell me as I hot-foot it up The Mall,
wearing tidy chemicals.

 

 

 

Helen Pletts (www.helenpletts.com ) whose two collections, Bottle bank and For the chiding dove, are both published by YWO/Legend Press (supported by The Arts Council) and available on Amazon. ‘Bottle bank’ was longlisted for The Bridport Poetry Prize 2006, under Helen’s maiden name of Bannister. Working collaboratively on Word and Image with Romit Berger, illustrator, since 2012.

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Word & Image by Helen Pletts and Romit Berger

 

 

 

Reconnaître

I want to remember the way back.
It seems Orion has the compass’ foot,
Swinging his other leg out into the dark
With the confidence of a man who walks on stars.

I use the skills of the corncrake tonight.
I need to remember in the hatchling hour, that I was here, –
Under this weight of milk white galaxies,
Unable to lose my way, – still, – under this same star.

 

 

 

 

 

Words by Helen Pletts (www.helenpletts.com ) whose two collections, Bottle bank and For the chiding dove, are both published by YWO/Legend Press (supported by The Arts Council) and available on Amazon. ‘Bottle bank’ was longlisted for The Bridport Poetry Prize 2006, under Helen’s maiden name of Bannister. Working collaboratively on Word and Image with Romit Berger, illustrator, since 2012.

Image by Romit Berger who says “I am a graphic designer and artist, living in Prague for the past 
ten years. In 2008 I joined a writing group – English is not my native
 language but I graduated from an international school, so it is a part 
of my life ever since. I feel that the dual process of finding words to
 describe mind images and illustrating written words, opens a new 
exciting dimension of creativity for me.

 

Read More

Word & Image by Helen Pletts and Romit Berger

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words by Helen Pletts (www.helenpletts.com ) whose two collections, Bottle bank and For the chiding dove, are both published by YWO/Legend Press (supported by The Arts Council) and available on Amazon. ‘Bottle bank’ was longlisted for The Bridport Poetry Prize 2006, under Helen’s maiden name of Bannister. Working collaboratively on Word and Image with Romit Berger, illustrator, since 2012. Word and Image Cards now on sale in The Over Gallery .

Image by Romit Berger who says “I am a graphic designer and artist, living in Prague for the past 
ten years. In 2008 I joined a writing group – English is not my native
 language but I graduated from an international school, so it is a part 
of my life ever since. I feel that the dual process of finding words to
 describe mind images and illustrating written words, opens a new 
exciting dimension of creativity for me.

 

Read More