Sunday, 15 October 2017

New work

If you are interested in new work from me this year:

  • Check out a fresh and multi-faceted magazine The Blue Nib edited by Shirley Bell which the Southbank Poetry Library made me aware of - I have some poems in Issue 13 here
  • A couple of poems in The Eildon Tree - the wonderful and unique Scottish Borders publication driving the arts forward throughout Scotland and globally through the agency of Carol Norris, Sara Clark, Julian Colton and Iona McGregor
  • If you missed it, I had a poem in Open Mouse - btw I suggest you subscribe if you missed it because this is a fantastic almost daily treat of online poetry curated by Colin Will
  • I have a poem appearing in the Abridged Wormwood issue (I can't tell you how natural a fit that topic was - Greg McCartney the editor has a knack of coming up with the most addictive themes for poets and artists; not to mention the impact of the photography throughout the magazine series); there is a preview here
    The physical version of Abridged "is generally available at art galleries and arts organisations in Belfast, Dublin, Derry, Galway. Usually for a limited period as they go very quickly". Free PDFs are also available from the website.
  • I have a poem in the soon to appear Issue 20 of Under the Radar - copies available from the website; take a look at the range of poets featured in previous issues and you will understand why it is well worth getting a copy sooner rather than later as they sell out quickly.
  • If you like a more regular dose of p&g can I suggest you go over to where I post photos taken with a Windows Phone most of the time

Thank you to all the editors and teams for taking the time to read and publish these. Delighted to feature alongside some great poets, artists, writers and photographers.

Bridget Khursheed me and my webcam

Other news: I am doing an MSc in Advanced Security and Digital Forensics at Edinburgh Napier University and still doing my regular geek day job. As usual I am confident I can do all of these things and still write the poetry I want to. It is part of my practice to work and write. A theory borne out by presidential/solder/mother/doctor/lawyer/publisher/priest/spy etc poets everywhere and throughout history. Poetry doesn't stop things happening. It makes things happen.

Mermaid - Louise Morey Bowman

Louise Morey Bowman 1882–1944 is recognised as Canada's first imagist poet.


Fra Lippo Lippi's women had your breasts,
And your great curving forehead - but your ears
Are delicate crinkled shells God must have clapped
Upon a mermaid's head on either side
When he created her in deep sea-caves
Finishing with a lovely sea-green tail
But your white limbs are purely Eden made.

When your veined eyelids droop, then Lippi paints
Your portrait til you lift your gaze again.
Such eyes are far beyond Fra Lippi's power.
For Eve's were not so simple and profound
I think and Lilith's not so darkly grey.
Yours are the eyes that, in those green sea-caves,
Reproachful, stared at God, and at your tail.

Found this in a wartime anthology of Canadian Poetry (Pelican Books 1942); compiled by Ralph Gustafson it has some dreary fare indeed which I hope was at least comforting for soldiers, sailors and airmen thinking of home. The pages have almost disintegrated as it is on ration-quality paper. The book even has its old adverts.

This poem by Bowman stands out: although at first it seems cut from a swirly Browning cloth, it slips out of the Victorian Romantic stream into something quite different and arrestingly sensual. Hope you enjoy it.