in collection, Circling
the Core, 2008,
Enitharmon, ISBN: 978-1-904634-66-9;
shortlisted for Forward Prize, 2007
crucial ingredient is the right frame of mind
abandon all ideas of getting on. Stop pedalling,
go indoors and give yourself masses of time.
begin by heating a pool of oil in a frying pan
Mrs. Beeton style, take a dozen onions
though the space youíre working in is smaller
the scullery in a Victorian mansion. Pull off
papery wrappings and feel the shiny globesí solidity
you chop. Fry the segments in three batches.
fuss about weeping eyes, with a wooden spoon
the pieces as they turn translucent and gold.
youíve browned but not burnt the cubes of beef
meat and onions in a deep pan, bless the mixture
stock, spoonfuls of paprika, tomato purťe
crushed garlic. Enjoy the Pompeian-red warmth.
the sun is reddening the pale afternoon
youíll watch as it sinks behind blurring roofs,
raised arms of trees, the intrepid viaduct.
the kitchenís triumph of colour and light the meat
softening and everything in the pot is seeping
everything else. By now youíre thinking of love:
merging which bodies long for, the merging
more than body. While youíre stirring the stew
dawns on you how much you need darkness.
lives in the underskirts of thickets where sealed buds
green, where butterflies folded in hibernation,
be crumpled leaves. It lives in the sky that carries
deep sense of blue and a thin boat of moon angled
if itís rocking. It lives in the silent larder and upstairs
the airing cupboard where a padded heart pumps
in the well of bed where humans lace together.
to savour all this as the simmering continues,
you lay the table and place at its centre a small jug
which youíve put three tentative roses and sprigs
rosemary. At last you will sit down with friends
ladle the dark red goulash onto plates bearing
of snowhite rice. As you eat the talk will be bright
the garnets round your neck, as those buried
an Anglo-Saxon king in a ship at Sutton Hoo,
the ring of words will carry far into the night.
poetry p f)
and book-length poems:
2007, Second Light Publications
My Way Through Cancer",
the Moon", 2003
on Yellow", 2000
Panic Bird", 1998
Writing Your Self