Archive for the ‘Poems’ Category

Poems: Geraldine Monk

Geraldine Monk reads poems from a new series ‘They who saw the deep’ at a performance last year. These poems are written after the shipping news and include themes of and references to migration, sea travel, displacement, the Epic of Gilgamesh and the cooking of roast dinners. Four of these poems appear in our Winter 2015 issue.

Gelynion: Joe Dunthorne & S J Fowler

Joe Dunthorne and Steven J Fowler perform their collaboration at Gelynion – Enemies London in June 2015. Their poem Iceland vs Iceland is published in the Winter issue of Poetry Wales.

Gelynion: Kate North & Katrin Lloyd

Katrin Selina Lloyd and Kate North perform their Oulipo games collaboration at Gelynion – Enemies Newport in May 2015. The poems are published in the Winter issue of Poetry Wales.

Gelynion: Ifor Ap Glyn & Ghazal Mosadeq

Ghazal Mosadeq and Ifor Ap Glyn perform their Welsh and Azeri (mis)translations at Gelynion – Enemies Bangor. These poems are published in the Winter issue of Poetry Wales.

Gelynion: Joe Dunthorne & Zoë Skoulding

Joe Dunthorne and Zoë Skoulding perform their collaboration at Gelynion – Enemies Aberystwyth in May 2015. Their poem after Louis Auguste Blanqi is published in the Winter issue of Poetry Wales.

Gelynion: Frances Presley & Robert Minhinnick

Robert Minhinnick and Frances Presley perform their collaboration at Gelynion – Enemies Swansea in May 2015. The piece is published in the Winter issue of Poetry Wales.

Poem: The Birds of Rhiannon

By Rhian Edwards


The Birds of Rhiannon

Before I was mortal, I was haloed
in feathers, my trinity of familiars;
whose birdsong was legend, serenading
the dead from their dreams, lullabying
the living to torpor.  For the sake
of this world and him, I swallowed
my guardians, let them nest in my belly
and take turns in my throat. The sparrow
became my repartee, my grappling chatter
that flutters away the dead air. The mockingbird
staked claim as my mimicking tongue, parodying
the world as it heard it, to be droll,
to belong. And the thrush was poetry,
my childsong, my verse-voice, the brittle
thread to my blueprint life.

For the sake of my world and him,
I crowded my belly with children,
each deafened in utero by the never-ending
twittering. My birds heckled my sons
for mirroring the man that caged
them within this ungenerous flesh.
My unborn tried walling their ears,
even taking their leave before
they were finished. My pets pecked
and fought over what remained.
But now that a girl is unfurling,
the facsimile of me, their familiar,
they coo and brood over her, sing her
to flower, while laying eggs of their own
under her unspeakable tongue.

From Poetry Wales Summer 2015

Rhian Edwards’s first collection Clueless Dogs won Wales Book of the Year 2013

Poem: Io by Ellen Cranitch


flat cow skull-bone trying to feel through coarse fur
his knuckles against her brow, the stroke-soft soothe-speak;

flat cow skull-bone gathering all thought, all nerve to accurately feel,
re-feel, focus, the small girl memory of his musk man-smell

when brush of his fingers on her hot forehead would soothe her;
flat cow skull-bone housing gold eyes, gold brimming wet,

black-lashed water, dripping gift-tears onto his hands: this one is sad,
says the father. Dull curved cow horns glance at air, turn wide

empty circles, want to link the once-known of arms with his
which reach up to soothe her; stout cow neck’s throat-choke

when he offers her the sweetest blades of bitter grass knowing
cow tongue’s stoat body squats inside her, cannot be lashed

into supple word-sound. Small word, smallest in the long poem,
carrying on its slight frame the whole yoke of utterance and desire

gifting the soon-to-be exiled poet a longing to shape into words,
into a dazzling white meadow of words to sing how words falter.


From Poetry Wales Summer 2015.

Ellen Cranitch’s poems are published by Carcanet in the Oxford Poets series. Her work has appeared in a range of magazines including Poetry London, Poetry Ireland Review and Ambit and won numerous prizes.

Poem: 5 Views Re/Dux

5 Views Re/Dux

by Catherine Fletcher 


Rippled Drum (Bard)
an instrument that makes waves
a drum with a vein of chocolate running through
wavy rolling tobacco
the inner ear drowning in cheap alcohol

Poor Holding (Vicar)
property of the indigent
bad grip
sickly footing
sad, misspelled Caulfield

Coated Macadam (Mender)
a Scot with thick skin
Mrs. Cadam in her outerwear
a muddy dam blocking a narrow creek
one of two Teds at a family reunion

As Spoken (Arrows)

ass poken
ass poke N.
like squares
like arrows?
?the way to Wales is west

Tar Rock (Mine)
a prehistoric reptile
an exclamation in Breton
asphalt on a hot day
a Cardiff street drug


Catherine Fletcher is a poet and an editor for Rattapallax magazine. Her work has appeared in Mizna, The Raconteur, Newtown Literary, and other journals.  ‘5 Views Re/Dux’, is a riff on Peter Finch’s ‘Five Views of Wales.’

This poem originally appeared in Poetry Wales Spring 2015.