The house in Aberdeen where we used to live had a large garden surrounded by woodland and fields. My initial enthusiasm for filling the borders with pretty flowering plants was soon tempered by the fact that the garden was a happy feeding ground for rabbits. They bred like their proverbial namesakes – in a matter of months, one or two fluffy little bunnies gambolling sweetly at the bottom of the lawn became a dozen or more, brazenly nibbling my roses and petunias.Continue reading
‘Crochet’ first appeared in Issue 36 of The Fib Review, Summer 2020.
For my father
Half of you is listening. Half of you sees the mountain, hard lines pushing against the sky. Half of you senses air’s faint breath, feels warmth like fingers where sunlight has sneaked beneath your hat. Your left hand acknowledges my touch.
I only half listened that day last year, as we walked through the fynbos on the slopes above Camps Bay. You spoke in the voice you used for children or for childhood, for stories of Piglet and of Pooh and how you were at school with Christopher Robin.
When the time comes, I want a Daddy to hold me by the hand.
I smiled, said nothing. We were a long way from The Hundred Acres Wood.
Spiked crests of birds of paradise ignite above their leaves. Half of you is present. Is the other half hidden, like the mountain when the south-east wind spreads a tablecloth of cloud? Or has your Daddy taken your right hand gently in His own, to lead the missing half of you past Lion’s Head into the light?
I don’t ask this, but I think this in the shadow of the mountain. Half of you listens to my silence. All of you cannot speak.
‘Cape of Good Hope’ first appeared in The Amethyst Review on 14th April 2020.
Callon Waldron-Hall was one of the recipients of last year’s New Poet’s Prize, an annual competition organised by The Poetry Business. His debut pamphlet, Learning to be Very Soft, was published in June and is a worthy prize-winner. Written in clear, unadorned language with gentle, fluid rhythms, the poems use everyday experiences – a car journey, a visit to the doctor, winding in the lane ropes at a swimming pool – as windows into the inner world of boyhood with all its vulnerability, awkwardness and shame.Continue reading
Penteract Press has a reputation for focussing on formal, constrained and experimental poetry, for exploring the interface between poetry and visual art, with careful attention to detail in their publications. Science Poems, an anthology edited by Anthony Etherin and Clara Daneri and featuring work by Christian Bök, Gary Barwin, M D Kerr, Kyle Flemmer and Pedro Poitevin among others, is no exception.Continue reading
Tributes have been paid around the world to Eavan Boland, the Irish poet, feminist and academic who died on the 27thApril. Her writing is distinguished by clarity and depth, by the precision of her language and her ability to pull together details of simple, everyday experiences, opening our awareness to their profound underlying truth.Continue reading
a rabbit sneaks over my windowsill
spills oblong light across the floor viscous
as cream curdles in a snarl
of salamanders fluorescent on the walls
that bloat bulge suppurate burst
the air hums bees in my hair crawl over my skin
i grope for some hold-fast but corners
collapse light and shadow striate
fish swim with the waves against
the waves darkness lifts
where the ceiling used to be
a shriek of gulls flecks on cloud
not bombs or planes but birds
the colour of blood spills
on to rooftops and moon-shadowed
stairs to nowhere war
a game played without rules
pieces drift in liquid
light teeter at a precipice
in darkness i cling
to an edge while all night
long an unembodied voice
detonates the news
In dawn’s faint light
I construct lines, squares, rhomboids, hexagons,
to plaster absent walls with tessellations.
Tessellations’ first appeared in The Ekphrastic Review on 30 March 2020
wavers a path
across the sea
which way does the tide pull?
ripples on wet sand
shimmer it back not quite
the calling waves
I want to fold my hands around you
cradle you in my cupped palms
past sea holly and marram grass
to the shelter of the trees
abide with you on sweet-scented earth
a dove is calling
‘Limen’ first appeared in The Amethyst Review on 28th March 2020
The margins of decision-making can be fine. This morning I awoke with a mild sore throat and a headache. In normal circumstances I would not give any thought to these very minor symptoms: but these are not normal times and, being a dutiful citizen, I contemplate the need to self-isolate.Continue reading
In her poem ‘A Woman in Love’, the mathematician and poet Sarah Glaz describes herself as seeing ‘a streak of mathematics/ in almost everything’. The title of her collection of mathematical poetry, Ode to Numbers, is taken from a poem by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda which invokes the passion of mathematical curiosity, the urge to understand the mysteries of the universe in quantified terms, the desire ‘to know/ how many/ stars in the sky’(Neruda, 1999).Continue reading