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New Poems by Eleanor Rees, Tim Cresswell & Ralph Pite

 

Passage Grave

 

Inside the chamber each pattern is alight

as a strip of sun seeks damp shadow

within chiselled grooves to swirl the bright into black.

 

The light, deep inside the dark,

finds new routes across the rock,

each grain of sandstone is compressed time,

a salty fleck in a watery suspension,

 

moving within and across the solid matter

to restart and renew its shift into shadow.

The shadow becomes lit and the light

becomes dark.

 

The stone is not inert

but processing the darkness, turning it back into

light, light turning back into dark,

 

as years spiral onwards and into the rain,

prescient on the horizon,

 

grey cloud about to burst with this moment

woven and weaving one day to the next.

 

Eleanor Rees

 

 

 

 

Treehouse

 

Amongst the junk I find sleepers for struts,

tongue and groove floor and roof,

 

sturdy four by fours for corners. A broken

ladder. A circular saw.

 

A summer’s work for a man with hands

that turn pages and chop onions. All this flotsam

 

reassembled. An HQ for gangland.

A still point outside the scatter and cacophony.

 

As I hammer and heft I think of

blackberry bushes, secret dry nettled ditches,

 

spaces where we used to play

imagining ourselves heroes, spies,

 

soldiers who never died. Captain Scarlet!

Blisters and calluses appear where

 

my fingers meet my palm. My arms grow tense

and sore. By summer’s end I feel worthy, a better man.

 

I do it for them. The children aren’t so sure.

“Cool” they say, and go back in.

 

Tim Cresswell

 

 

 

 

SEVERN (SHROPSHIRE)

                                    THE DREAM OF RHONABWY

 

candleflame citadels

of snake-eye gorse

 

                                    river-crossing nearing warrior

                                     whose hair shines yellow as broom

 

our blunt-fronted shuttle

 

thrown down and back

and down along a winding

path through hedgeparsley

and meadowsweet

 

                                   Vyrnwy’s door:

                                    pull upstream of plain pool

                                    draws incursor

                               abettor

                                     agile defender’s sudden cage

 

glimmer, then glitter, glint

in perfect cones of graded coal

nearby toothy elevator

stilled conveyor

 

                                 reed eyot below the ford

 

                                   Owain, Arthur

                                  compatriots encamped

                                let play let

                             tear tire

 

                               enabled awhile raven

                               (security) to operate unseen

 

whale-bone pastures

along the old line

where sealed shut meanders

drain

 

                                                            dust of golden chessmen squeezed from his fist

                                                         was peace

                                                               sandbar out of muddy flow fish spawning shelter

 

names interleaved

and parishes farms

where escapees and

lingerers scrape by

 

hourglass needle-eye

history’s process:

chink in armour peak

of sugarloaf

eruption’s petals

select each moment which

facet which descent

 

Ralph Pite

 

 

 

 

ELEANOR REES is the author of numerous books. Her pamphlet collection Feeding Fire (Spout, 2001) received an Eric Gregory Award in 2002 and her first full length collection Andraste’s Hair (Salt, 2007) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Glen Dimplex New Writers Awards. Her second collection Eliza and the Bear (Salt, 2009) is also a live performance for voice and harp which has toured in the North West. In 2015 Eleanor published her third full-length collection Blood Child (Liverpool University Press/Pavilion, 2015) and a long pamphlet Riverine (Gatehouse Press, 2015).

 

 

TIM CRESSWELL has been widely published in poetry magazines in the US, United Kingdom and beyond. He has poems in, for instance, The Moth, the Rialto, the North, Magma, Poetry Wales, Riddlefence and The Kudzu House Review. His collections, Soil and Fence were published by Penned in the Margins (London).

 

 

RALPH PITE teaches English Literature at the University of Bristol.  He is the author of numerous books, including Thomas Hardy: The Guarded Life, and is currently writing about the poets Robert Frost and Edward Thomas. His collection of poetry, Paths and Ladders, was published in 2003 by The Brodie Press.

 

 

Illustrations by DESDEMONA MCCANNON, illustrator and Senior Lecturer at the Manchester School of Art. Desdemona’s artwork can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

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The Clearing Magazine | ELEANOR REESreply
August 1, 2018 at 11:26 am

[…] Eleanor has a new poem ‘Passage Grave’ in The Clearing Magazine accompanied by illustration by Desdemona McCannon. https://www.littletoller.co.uk/the-clearing/poetry/new-poems-by-eleanor-rees-tim-creswell-and-ralph-… […]

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