Over recent weeks, I have had the great fortune of discovering Women Aloud NI – a network founded by Jane Talbot, author of The Faerie Thorn, and dedicated to the celebration of women writers with ties to Northern Ireland. With the 7th annual Belfast Book Festival approaching, I’ve been excited to attend some great workshops, hear from some incredible talent and meet some faces from the Women Aloud NI group; what I wasn’t expecting was to end up with a slot to read some of my own poetry, but when Jane asked, I wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity.
That said, I am a complete unknown on the NI writers’ scene. As yet, I remain unpublished, having only completed a series of 23 poems over the course of recent months which – to say the least – are absolutely nothing like the poetry already featured here on my blog. I should admit that even during my younger years, I struggled to find my ‘voice’ as a writer, but I think I’ve finally discovered it. To have a chance to share that voice for a brief time in front of people who love poetry is quite the privilege.
I’ve decided to share one of my recently written poems to give a taste of my poetic style. This piece was inspired by reflections upon my return to writing and the decision to pursue it properly.
Nebulae & Salt
I couldn’t bear then
to try it on, this thing;
I knew and I know, I’d have lost myself,
swathed in metaphors I hadn’t yet tasted
because I was still
for drunken dawns and sublime solecism
– the grit and the sting of honesty.
with the dripping thaw of
unfolding I ams, and there
I was and wasn’t, all at once,
a wide eyed coma.
Then, I strangled summer;
squeezed its neck between pale knuckles, and the
bloodstains on my nails
were a simmering oil slick,
But here is the harvest;
autumn now, southward
of birthing days,
and there’s that thing again, begging me
to give it limbs, to slip it over my head and fill it up
like a throat full of song.
So I’ll fill it
with songs and dirges,
with nebulae and salt
I’ll let it hold hands with my shadows
and say the words I cannot.