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last update: 25 Nov17

 

 

The way up and the way down                      Sea Poem

 

The Jar of Sleep                      I Stop Wearing the Mini-Skirt, 1972

 

The way up and the way down
     (Heraclitus)

When the man rolled the moon
into the car park, in broad daylight,
I thought, what will the painters
of moonlight do now?
                     Atkinson Grimshaw
for instance, will rise from his grave
to see no more the green glow
on a winter sky. No more would I
behold the moon ascending,
birthing from its neck of cloud
with full corona.
                     How can I bear this
manhandling into the trailer?
Shackled, driven off to be
pulverised and honed into
zillions of moonstones, which
we will all wear as widows
and widowers of the moon.
                     And the sea will
barely rock in its cradle.
 

Patricia Helen Wooldridge

Published in ARTEMISpoetry, Iss 17, November 2016



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Sea Poem
     (after Emily Dickinson)

I started early, took my pen
and visited the sea,
 
the sky had pearled inside its shell
and mellowed over me.
 
Never had sea-grey seemed so full
a brimming satin sheen
 
as if there were no breeze and I
could fly and fall in dream.
 
My pen I held above the line
until the wake of ink
 
summoned itself in parallel
and glimmered on the brink.
 

Patricia Helen Wooldridge

Published in Envoi, June 2017



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The Jar of Sleep

Inside the jar of sleep
I am clambering up like a wasp.
 
          *
I could be rocking
back and forward,
 
the sun smudged in fuchsia
on a patch of ice blue,
 
morning melts
in a burning net of cloud,
 
dragging me somewhere
out on the heath
 
where silver birches flex
their split ends against the cold.
 
          *
Strung filaments and cirrus trails
gather round this day of skirts –
 
a red and yellow sun dog –
it feels like rain.
 
I persist in an afternoon –
a sky that needs walking into.
 
          *
With a thousand plus
strobes of blue
 
teasing the lake
in a damsel heat-wave,
 
one lights on a green blade –
its azure back, electric, static,
 
wings apparently
wired through tissue
 
like a webbed angel.
 

Patricia Helen Wooldridge

Fourth Prize, Rialto/RSPB Poetry Competition 2015;
Published in Rialto 83 Summer 2015



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I Stop Wearing the Mini-skirt, 1972

I listen to Jimi Hendrix, Foxy Lady, in the dark, drink milk
in chilled cartons on Victoria Station. Beyond the factory
hours of vacation working, I don’t know what I’ll do.
 
The two of us deep in the forest, summer
under two-man canvas, the tearing rasp of cows
at night and will they see the guy ropes?
 
I don’t know if I want a baby.
 
I review my life:
I love The Nutcracker Suite, being at the ballet –
my neighbour’s treat – still dreaming the dancer.
 
Does my English teacher want her poetry books back?
Twenty more years before I know she told them
I’d be a writer.
 
How will I survive being away from you, behind the door
of this university room?
You hitch-hike all the way to see me.
 
They would have loved a proper wedding – dad
to give me away, mum fussing round the bridal gown,
petting the grandchildren already born.
 
I stop wearing the mini-skirt.
I don’t know that I do love you is not forever.
I read Rachel Carson and believe the sea is dying.
 

Patricia Helen Wooldridge

Commended National Poetry Competition 2013;
published 2014 – The Poetry Society (poetrysociety.org.uk)



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