Thursday, 19 December 2019

News 19/12/19

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year!

I’m afraid I've been rather remiss in keeping my blog up to date during 2019...

In addition to the posts below I'm pleased to have had several poems included in Riptide Journal (the Exeter University literary magazine) as well as poetry in Prole, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Deckhand, Glossophilia, Visual Verse, Atrium, and accepted for the January 2020 edition of The Blue Nib.

I was also especially pleased to see my old poem Beyond Broadwoodwidger included in the 'For The Silent' anthology from Indigo Dreams Publications in aid of the League Against Cruel Sports - where it was rubbing shoulders with work by Hardy, Hughes, Armitage and Oswald amongst others...

Finally, here's a reading of my poem The Boar, published in Riptide. Like my poem Rakinewis below,  the photos were taken in beautiful Abruzzo, around the scene of the near encounter.
Part boar part Parkinson's...

The Boar

Beyond the garden boundary,
past the halo of the terrace lights,
the undergrowth is shaking
to the soft grunts of a cinghiale.
I can’t see him but I know he’s there.

Along the night-sweat lane
near the house with the rusted vines
big white dogs are sounding off,
barking their ignorance
into the night, over and over.

I could walk out in the grass
to the edge of the rustling dark,
sure the boar would batter away
wary of my man-stink
and the shotgun I might carry.

But we play this stand off,
me here, the boar in the bushes,
for we each know our place
and no good thing can come
from forcing a meeting.

And what if it isn't a boar
rattling unseen in the canes?
Perhaps it’s something else
pulling down the green leaves,
tearing up the teeming soil?

So I stay by the moth-speckled lights
for fear of unknowable things -
not the bristly pig in the bush
with his pinhole eyes, rooty tusks,
stupidly dainty on cloven heels.

That shape though: the bulk of a boar,
of a high and hump-backed hill,
of a stoop-shouldered sky -
awful in its absence and presence -
that shape is waiting for me,

aware one day I'll have no choice
but to push into the shadows
and find the beast shaking
at a persimmon tree
knowing the fruit must surely fall.

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