Clare Crossman

Clare Crossman grew up in Cumbria and now lives with her husband near Cambridge. She runs poetry workshops for various school and community groups with START Arts and CCC. She has an MA in Theatre Studies, and loves being involved with poetry in performance.

The Winter Crown
(poem at Christmas)

From the small wood, I cut spiked sloes,
regal and hardy, against winter’s grain.
I threaded them through the willow ring,
wired on a paper butterfly, woven with gold silk.
I tied on foil stars, for girls with glittering bracelets,
silver pendants dropping from their ears.
Pine and sandalwood for boys
in dinner suits, dignified and tall as trees.
I placed it in the church porch beside the others.
Who had chosen laurel, lilies to lie on stone.
Ribbons of blue and green for first love,
to keep the memory of the lost, the dead.
Ghosts, amongst twisted strands of bryony stalk,
as dry as straw, and the red dogwood canes.
The light inside was gold, all the lead lights lit.
Carols rang, for miracles, (how a lemon tree flowers in December).
An old man died, bombs blasted lives away,
a child was found in a dark hole.
Those unbroken circles,
that catch and hold how we connect.
In the hope of angels passing over,
to reach across borders with their wings
where all crowns are barbed with distance.

Clare Crossman

The Shell Notebook Poems, in Take 5 04, Shoestring Press.
Fenlight, CD, Sequence of poems and music with acoustic musician, Richard Newman. Performed Cambridge, Norwich, Ely.

tel: 01763 261300

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