Saturday, 19 December 2009


I don't know, these posts are like buses (or men - Wendy Cope), you wait for ages etc. Just thought it might be interesting for you to look at the poem I wrote when Helen and I were present at the scattering of her aunt Kitty's ashes (we didn't confer - honest!):

i.m. Kitty Harris

Cacophony of kittiwakes,
ink- tipped wings,
grey lost in sea and sky,
yet white survives,
a flurry of snowflakes;
perched on chalk ledges,
kiittee-wa-aaake squawk
drowning the trill of lark.

We scatter you,
to grey sea, grey sky,
to kittiwake, puffin, razorbill,
a rockful of gannets;
to sea campion, gorse:
in memory
of memory you lost:
your love of cliff, bird,
sea, sky.

Wind throws you back
in our faces:
we wear your mask -
laugh. You always said
you were a stubborn old bugger
and here you are,
mugging us at the last;
still there, when I grit my teeth.

Liz Loxley

For those of you into critical analysis, feel free to compare and contrast..... xx

Friday, 18 December 2009


Hello again. As promised last time, here is Helen's winning poem from this year's Flintshire poetry competition:


At Bempton Cliffs (For Kitty)

A ballet of gulls on our walk;
we watch their intricate movements
as they dance above the ocean,
wheel on waves of air,
miss each other by a wing tip
find footing on the cliff top,
shelter in grey-white chalk.

Here line of sea meets sky,
a sudden corner of infinity.

We point out the kittiwakes,
call them your namesakes
and scatter fast,
the wind blowing you back
in our faces, mixing ash
with tears, relief with unease.

You would have laughed;
awkward, alive to the last.

I am also pleased to say that she had the following poem commended:

Mining for Diamonds

Bombazine black,
not sure what it meant,
but she wore it
all weathers,
always in mourning,
my spinster aunt.

Other memories –
charred buildings open to the light,
like the shell of a doll’s house,
wallpaper still peeling,
the frayed edges of my nana’s ration book,
smog as thick as mustard,
blackout curtains blotting out the night.

Only you sparkled
in your black dress and diamonds,
when you kissed me goodnight,
left on the landing light
because I feared the dark.

We have some more news for you about poems of ours that are going to be used in a 'Women and Warfare' audio installation/exhibition in Sheffield in February 2010. More of that to follow!

Hope you all have a very happy Christmas

Tuesday, 8 December 2009


Long time no see! Helen was once again the winner in the Flintshire Poetry Competition (it was a different judge, by the way) and had another poem commended; I also had one commended. Mine was:


right over left, left over right
makes a knot both tidy and tight
(common mnemonic for tying a reef knot)

You – captain at tap end,
me on knot duty,
legs: right over left, left over right.

Reef knot

Ends slipped tight, snug
but one tug
could pull us apart.

Thief knot

We’d capsize,
spill like milk
or silk-shot moonlight.

Grief knot.

To keep you in suspense.....Helen's 2 poems will appear in the next blog!