Read the final two of our top ten unmissable poems published in Poetry Wales from the last 5 years. To celebrate 55 years of publishing poetry, every Friday for the past four weeks we’ve released two poems from the list. As our final post, we’re including a free digital downloadable edition of the full list. Click here to view and download the PDF. The ten poems in this short collection were selected by Nia Davies, editor of Poetry Wales (2014-19).
by Fran Lock
I know what you think. You think
my silence slabby and witless. You,
who sit at my kitchen table, kneading
your cityish face into a reverie of smug
love. I know what you think, my ghost
is the wrung hand, the stinging whiff
of tar, carbolic and starch; that I slouch,
all priggy, slack and bombazine,
garlanding grievances. You compose
the snide homilies of the young, faulting
my hunkering care for never enough. You
think him yours, my brimming boy, the boy
who shrugged my huffy mothering, fled
in a vaulting rage. He raged, yes, but he
returned. And what is The Bay if not
the homely bulk of me? Ah, but I know
what you think. You think me ignorant,
pig-literal. You think me needy, heaving
yeast and vast; I carry within me the rank,
damp smell of the smothered hearth.
You have the lethal sarcasm of the young.
You are a scholar of moist rejoinders,
of drunks, of men, their promiscuous
tyrannies. You will say that my affection
held more chide than nurse, but you have
never reckoned on a curdled hurt, deep
enough to drown. I am no muse in heap
of sour flounces. I am the home where the heart
is roused and suppered. I shelter him, in all
his mad, trancy bemoaning. I shelter him
when he is roaring out his spellbound blotto.
I shelter the dire child, the difficult boy,
the staggered man in all his stages. I am Florrie
and I am angling into song. I am Swansea,
her plunder of voices. I am his mother,
and you think you know me. I know
what you think. But this is fine.
I shift my shape and rise like steam.
I am a crow, a slanting cat, creeping
through the purple strokes of dusk, and you
and you, and you, and you do not see me.
Fran Lock‘s ‘Florrie’ first appeared in Poetry Wales Volume 50 Number 4 in 2015. Fran Lock’s debut collection Flatrock (Little Episodes) was launched in
May 2011. Her second collection is The Mystic and the Pig Thief (Salt, 2014).
Poems for Eliot
by Sascha Aurora Akhtar
Your body melded with my body and we made a blueprint
For an earlobe. Her earlobe. The smallest, little
Structure hanging attached to a structure also
MY EARS = HER e/A/R/S
knees, we made knees – a structure, we
made a blueprint for a structure contained in
a smallest of all structures – it’s called D.N.A & it’s
like under a microscope only visible and it’s some
kind of fucking helix – we, you & me created
this helix – that’s what she is – a wonder
helix containing all the information of the
universe – the stillness, the motion, the speed,
the temporal explanations of all things,
like you and me, our mystery. Our mystery
is drastically embedded, on an invisible
structure – unseen by Naked Eyes –
She is Unseen &
Yet I see her.
I see your D.N.A
I see my D.N.A
She is a wonder helix She is a wonder helix