Sunday, 20 November 2011

'Not Only The Dark' now available!

Visit our publications page to buy your copy of our amazing new anthology and help to raise funds for international disaster charity Shelterbox.

As well as introducing some exciting new poets, this anthology includes poems by Patience Agbabi, Kate Clanchy, David Harsent, Michael Laskey, Alice Oswald, Pascale Petit, Mario Petrucci, Penelope Shuttle, John Siddique, Catherine Smith and many more.

Deep by Lynne Rees

Who was I that summer
I met you? Loose with desire
I moved like cream before it’s churned to butter

and men I hardly knew
stopped me in supermarket aisles, B & Q,
to talk about nothing, standing closer than they needed to;

when a day without talking
to you splintered my mind – snapping
at people I loved, hiding upstairs with a phone, crying

at night; that night
you left and I sat in the dark, the polite
bones of your words sharpening with the sneak of light,

afraid of the days
opening like empty rooms, a maze
of your absence: a puzzle the years haven’t erased.

Lynne Rees

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Another poem from 'Not Only The Dark'

The Year of the Tree

I carried a tree

through the Underground.

It was hard. At first,

people scarcely noticed me

and the oak I was lugging

along the platforms –

heavier than a suitcase

and difficult to balance.

We threaded through corridors,

changing lines: up and down stairs,

escalators, and for a moment

I imagined everyone on the planet

taking turns

to carry a tree as daily rite.

A few people asked

Why a tree?

I said it was for my own

edification –

a tree always

has something to teach.


Sharp gusts

whirred through the corridors

rustling the branches

as I hurried on

past the sweepers

picking up rubbish, scraps of paper.

Be sure to take the tree

with you, they said.

Don’t worry, I’m taking it

to my garden,

the start of a forest.

When people stared,

Relax, I said,

it‘s a tree, not a gun.

©Katherine Gallagher(2010)

(From Carnival Edge: New & Selected Poems, Arc Publications, 2010