It has been so long now since I've blogged I'm a bit afraid I've forgotten how.
Over the past few days, I've been reading Jenny Powell's new poetry book, 'Vietnam: a poem journey' published by HeadworX. I am enjoying the charming, delicacy of Jenny's work and the dream-like quality of poems that sing their way off the page and into your head. (Go here to read more impressions of the book plus one of the poems on Helen Rickerby's blog 'Winged Ink').
While reading it during one of my work lunch breaks, I had a quiet smile when I was startled by a seagull with flapping wings tapping its beak several times on the glass of the window I was sitting at. It was trying to get at the hot chips I was eating inside the cafe. The poem I was reading at the time happened to be called,'Woman with Birds in her Head'. The flapping gull seemed an apt accompaniment.
I await feedback from a few quarters on the m.s. for my next poetry book, 'Born To A Red-headed Woman'. After that I will be doing some more editing, but I hope not too much. It seems like I've been working on it forever.
Here is a poem that hasn't made it into the book.
‘a wheel within a wheel' from ‘I Dream a Highway’ by Gillian Welch
The world’s awash
with wind. In the sky’s
gun-barrel of cream
and grey, a tiny bullet of blue
spins. Next door’s
rusty, rotary clothesline
wheezes tinny, harmonica
notes. Five homing-pigeons
prance and swerve
into dawn’s sullen light
then lose themselves
in a clot of cloud.
How quiet the roads,
how quiet the house, until I hear
the terrible summer-buzz
of a blowfly
awake at six a.m.
and fingering the rubbish tins.
Kay McKenzie Cooke