Featured Poets, July 2018                     home page
 

Anne Sherry       Denni Turp       Fokkina McDonnell (poem since removed)       Gill Nicholson       Jan Bay-Petersen       Jean Atkin (poem since replaced)      Jill Boucher       Kathleen M Quinlan       Maria Jastrzebska       Mimi Khalvati       Shirley Bell (poem since removed)       Shirley Wright (poem since removed)       Vicki Morley (poem since removed)      

You may also wish to listen to poem recordings that have been added to our (small but growing!) digital archive. We have poems there by:
 
Nadine Brummer, Daphne Gloag, Gill Horitz, Mimi Khalvati, Lottie Kramer, Gill Learner, Gill McEvoy (read by Anne Stewart), Maggie Norton, Jennie Osborne, Elizabeth Soule, Jill Townsend, Marion Tracy, Fiona Ritchie Walker, Sarah Westcott and Lynne Wycherley.
 
Select and listen here               Poets of the Month (other dates)  

Anne Sherry

Anne Sherry is a Writer and Management Consultant. She lives in Winchester but travels widely. Her first collection, Safe Passage, was published in 2014.

Double Edged

My love who promised the earth
then pawned it all away
 
my love shouldered like Goliath
with the belly of a mollusc
 
my love with a cavalier’s exfoliated thighs
and the swaggering hips of a toreador
 
my love who adored my classic clothes
then recommended froth and flowers
 
my love with the feet of a ballerina
and the strut of a petulant brat
 
my love who liked my symbolic phrases
then told me not to play mind-games
 
my love with Blue Beard’s hooked nose
in the baby face of a petit ingénu
 
my love who appreciated my honesty
then devalued me for being naïve
 
my love who made me writhe and pant
then fled when I expected the same
 
my love with eyes like brackish pools
which obscured an Arctic mind
 
my love who hijacked my freedom
but clung limpet-like to his own
 
my love who chided me for vacillation
then revealed each endgame in his book
 
my love with the evasive tongue
which accused me of lying by omission
 
my love who scorned my secure life
then grabbed one for his own
 
my love with generous Gemini words
underscored actions of Scrooge
 
my love who promised to always be there
then scarpered when things got tough
 
my love whose past killed our present
contaminated my future.
 
That love who left me on a Pyrrhic fire
but missed this harpy eagle flying hope.
 

Anne Sherry

Publications:
Failing to Find Old Sarum, 2019, Mudfog Press, ISBN 978-0-9927930-1-2, £5.95 (free p&p)
Safe Passage, a Memoir in Poetry and Prose, 2014, Ashbrook Publications, ISBN 978-0-9927930-0-5, £7.95 +p&p,
(proceeds after costs to Alzheimer’s Research UK, www.cpibookdelivery.com)

e-mail Anne Sherry

Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet

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Denni Turp

Denni is a Welsh-speaking Cockney writer living in rural north Wales, a green Socialist, a staunch republican since her early teens, a dog rehomer, and a woman with a very long working life (mostly in the not-for-profit community sector) behind her.

Held hard and fast

Thickness of earth between my toes
is not enough, and yet too much.
It draws me down, holds my skin
in such a tight embrace, I’m sound,
the ground my inescapable domain.
Some may wish for gills, a way
to breathe in water, insist the sea
could be their home again. Not me.
I want only air in waves that barrel endlessly
to lift me on the tides of warmth that rise
and let me spread once more my loss
of wings, a mattered memory of glide.
Inside my head I’m always airborne, escaping
every failure felt as astronaut, as kite,
as tiny skimming hummingbird in flight.
 

Denni Turp

poem published in Witches, Warriors, Workers: an anthology of contemporary working women’s poetry, ed. Jane Burn and Fran Lock (Culture Matters, 2020)

e-mail Denni Turp

Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet

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Gill Nicholson is not currently a Member of Second Light. back to top

Jan Bay-Petersen

Jan Bay-Petersen, a New Zealander, worked in agricultural development and lived for 20 years in Taiwan. She began writing poetry after she moved to Cambridge. She has published in several poetry journals and won the 2013 Poetry Society Stanza Poetry Competition.

It’s a Two and You’re Dead

The closer we live to our gods, the more we need games.
Luck isn’t random: it chooses and fondles, then flits,
while we phantom midges soar high on the breath
of the gods or are drowned in their spit.
If our buzzing offends, if we stick in their throat,
they may take as amends what we don’t want to lose,
and you pay with an arm and a leg. Let us pray.
 
Playing games gives a hint. They’re a rear-vision mirror
to show what is coming up close from behind.
They won’t stop the truck, but maybe you’ll pause
a significant tick while you’re sending a text
so your paths don’t collide. If you’re ten over par,
if your darts hit the wire – give the blind date a miss.
Don’t ask for a raise, not today. Catch the bus.
 
Wait till you throw double six, till your horse
gallops home, till the ball draws a line
from your boot to the goal, till the Queen, King and Knave
join the cloverleaf Ace. Though you can’t read the stars
you can tip them like Braille and the rhythms are good,
your sails belly and fill, the duck’s entrails are pink.
There’s a cat and he’s black and you’re blessed. Take the trick.
 

Jan Bay-Petersen

Poem published in The North, 50

Jan Bay-Petersen at poetry p f
 

Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet

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Jean Atkin

Jean Atkin’s most recent books are Fan-peckled (Fair Acre Press) poems about the lost words of Shropshire, and The Bicycles of Ice and Salt (IDP) in 2021. She works as a poet in education & community projects.

Vik

Some mornings the van shakes on its wheels
and when I haul the sliding door, the ocean
roars its fury in a voice I’ve never heard
but feel I might deserve.
 
Some mornings I walk down to the beach
at Vik. Black sand is soaked to carbon
and the blistered air is stropped with foam.
I pull my hat over my ears.
 
Some mornings the ocean rumbles like an earthquake
just offshore. I ground my boots in raven sand.
The white comes frothing. Comes sliding up
the beach and I retreat.
 
Some mornings here it rains salt. Some mornings
the Atlantic flings stones at the beach. Some mornings
are a smashed sea bird and a gull-coloured sea.
Some mornings are hunters.
 

Jean Atkin

from forthcoming third collection High Nowhere;
first published in Raceme, Summer 2022, issue no. 13

Publications:
The Bicycles of Ice and Salt, 2021, IDP
Fan-peckled, 2021, Fair Acre Press
How Time is in Fields, 2019, IDP
Not Lost Since Last Time, 2013, Oversteps Books
Understories, 2019, Whalebone Music

Jean Atkin website
 

Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet

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Jill Boucher is not currently a Member of Second Light. back to top

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Maria Jastrzębska

Maria Jastrzębska’s fifth collection is Small Odysseys (Waterloo Press 2022). She co-edited Queer in Brighton (New Writing South 2014) and was the writer for cross-arts project “Snow Q” (2020). Her work is translated into Polish and Romanian.

Old Knives

Old knives lie still
in wooden drawers, lined
 
with shiny paper. They smell
of rust, belong to a family
 
of broken scissors, brass
tongs, tarnished platters
 
and screws stored in tobacco tins.
You could clean round them.
 
They lack conviction. Old knives
can’t cut in straight lines
 
anymore, but their handles
fit warmly into your hand.
 

Maria Jastrzębska

Poem published: Zlati Coln / Golden Boat 2006, Apokalipsa 2007 Zlati čoln/Golden Boat mednarodna prevajalska delavnica Društvo Apokalipsa

Latest collections:
Small Odysseys, Waterloo Press, 2022;
Syrena, Redbeck Press

web-pages on poetry p f
 
e-mail Maria

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Mimi Khalvati

Mimi Khalvati is the founder of The Poetry School, is on the Council of Management of the Arvon Foundation, the Editorial Board of Wasafiri and is a PBS selector. Her latest collection is The Meanest Flower (Carcanet 2007, PBS Recommendation).

The Valley


Through a thin spray of flowers from the valley
(and frailer for the shyness you gave them with),
through sprigs of blue, their minute suns, many
and angled to many corners of the earth,
I saw, not the valley or even the hill
that rose in front of me, but half-imagined
plateaux that lay beyond these disused mills:
meadows waist-high, horizons mountain-rimmed.

Wildflowers grow there in abundance, so many
you could reap armfuls of them, cauldrons
of colour stoked with their dyes, cornflowers, teasels
snarling your hair and on your headscarf, apron,
shirt and shawl, the whole sky would spill a pinny
studded with seeds. But thank you, thank you for these.

Mimi Khalvati

Poem published in collection, The Meanest Flower

Most Recent Publications, all from Carcanet:
The Meanest Flower, 2007. PBS Recommendation. Short-listed for TS Eliot Prize.
The Chine, 2002.
Mimi Khalvati: Selected Poems, 2000.
Entries on Light, 1997.
Mirrorwork, 1995, ACE Writer's Award.

web-site

Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet

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