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 in collection, Circling the Core, 2008,

 Enitharmon, ISBN: 978-1-904634-66-9;

shortlisted for Forward Prize, 2007



   for Grevel


A crucial ingredient is the right frame of mind

so abandon all ideas of getting on. Stop pedalling,

dismount, go indoors and give yourself masses of time.

Then begin by heating a pool of oil in a frying pan

and, Mrs. Beeton style, take a dozen onions

even though the space youíre working in is smaller

than the scullery in a Victorian mansion.  Pull off  

the papery wrappings and feel the shiny globesí solidity

before you chop. Fry the segments in three batches.

Donít fuss about weeping eyes, with a wooden spoon

ease the pieces as they turn translucent and gold.

When youíve browned but not burnt the cubes of beef

marry meat and onions in a deep pan, bless the mixture

with stock, spoonfuls of paprika, tomato purťe

and crushed garlic. Enjoy the Pompeian-red warmth.

Outside, the sun is reddening the pale afternoon

and youíll watch as it sinks behind blurring roofs,

the raised arms of trees, the intrepid viaduct.

In the kitchenís triumph of colour and light the meat

is softening and everything in the pot is seeping

into everything else. By now youíre thinking of love:

the merging which bodies long for, the merging

thatís more than body. While youíre stirring the stew

it dawns on you how much you need darkness.

It lives in the underskirts of thickets where sealed buds

coddle green, where butterflies folded in hibernation,

could be crumpled leaves. It lives in the sky that carries

a deep sense of blue and a thin boat of moon angled

as if itís rocking. It lives in the silent larder and upstairs

in the airing cupboard where a padded heart pumps

heat, in the well of bed where humans lace together.

Time to savour all this as the simmering continues,

as you lay the table and place at its centre a small jug

in which youíve put three tentative roses and sprigs

of rosemary. At last you will sit down with friends

and ladle the dark red goulash onto plates bearing

beds of snowhite rice. As you eat the talk will be bright

as the garnets round your neck, as those buried

with an Anglo-Saxon king in a ship at Sutton Hoo,

and the ring of words will carry far into the night.


Myra Schneider


last update:

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e-mail Myra

Myra at Desperado Literature

Second Light
(on poetry p f)

The Poetry School

and in the shop ...
collections and book-length poems:

"Circling the Core",

"Becoming", 2007, Second Light Publications

"Writing My Way Through Cancer",
Jessica Kingsley

and Enitharmon:

"Multiplying the Moon", 2003

"Insisting on Yellow", 2000

"The Panic Bird", 1998

"Exits", 1994

"Cathedral of Birds"

"Cat Therapy"

 "Crossing Point"

and Continuum Books,
Writing Your Self


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