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Jenny Hockey

Updated: Sun, 10 Feb 2019 05:01 pm

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I've been writing poetry since the 1980s and now have a debut collection, 'Going to bed with the moon', published by Oversteps Books. For most of my adult life I've lived in the north of England and in 2013 received a New Poets Award from New Writing North. This was soon after retiring as Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Sheffield. Many of the poems in 'Going to bed with the moon' explore experiences of loss, grief and remembering, mirroring my academic research and writing in these areas. Loss of family in war is a theme that particularly interests me and has also resulted in a co-authored personal memoir ( I am keen to do readings so please contact me if you have space on your programme. I'd also like to make contact with poets who share my interests and background.


Going to Bed with the Moon Startled by a moon-scuffed sky, I lean my head to the window — caught on a shredding of cloud, its wounded twist and drift — stand like the badger stitched on my Japanese silk, snout raised to the stars, belly floodlit until the moon desists from taunting our trees, unleaved, sky high. Moon — wan as an egg, shadows my heels up the stairs, climbs the folds of my sheets. The Cleaner She wore a scarf, fine, but tied at the back, not under her chin. Dutch, I mused. Clean. Very clean. Young. I gave her my keys, pointed out Flash, Dyson, mop. Floors and surfaces, I said, the usual. I came home late. She had emptied the fridge all over the kitchen. We need specialised products, she said. You can find them easily on the Internet. I will send links. You have serious problems in your refrigerator. Food hygiene. I will copy you scientific papers. You must familiarise yourself with recent findings. There are legal implications. Cheese storage, airtight plastic, temperature regulation; food mites, porridge moths, streptococci. Bedrooms OK? I whispered — Mr Snuggles, the Persian, silently bleating at the window; Scamper, the Basset, padlocked to the drainpipe. Outside accommodation is essential for them, she said — disinfecting an egg, Spontex gloves will be needed for weekly de-lousing. Had trouble with the Dyson? I murmured, eyes sinking to the dust, deep deep about the hall. Find an industrial company, she recommended, many advertise in Yellow Pages. I must isolate the aubergines. These have Pan-European consequences.

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