"Mandy Coe is an original. No one looks and writes about the world like she does... an almost Blakean sense of the divine in living things." Anthony Wilson, Lifesaving Poems (Bloodaxe) Author of seven books, Mandy Coe’s poems have been broadcast on BBC radio and television. She has tutored for the Poetry School and Poetry Society and held residencies with the Poetry Society, Bath Festival and National Galleries and Museums. She regularly works with universities, schools and literacy advocacy projects and her work on teaching poetry has been published in by Bloomsbury and Oxford University Press. Mandy is a visiting Fellow of the Writing School, Manchester Metropolitan University. Poetry prizes include the Ilkley Festival prize and the Manchester Prize. Her children’s collection, If You Could See Laughter (Salt), received the Center for Literacy in Primary Education Poetry Highly Commended Award. As editor, Mandy was shortlisted for the 2015 CLiPPA Award for Let in the Stars: new poetry for children (The Writing School, MMU). Her latest adult collection 'There Will Be Cherries' is published by Shoestring Press, 2016. Mandy Lives in the North West, for workshops, readings or for further information email via: www.mandycoe.com Other links: Poetry Archive http://www.poetryarchive.org/poet/mandy-coe Talking Poetry BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02mpk33/episodes/guide
UNDOING the orange-robed monk rises from his knees, shrugging off a cloak of blue flame. Planes suck up a bellyful of bombs. The rolling news reverses headlines letter by letter. Dust and rubble reforms into houses and tears roll up faces. Children and women inhale screams. Mandy Coe 'There Will be Cherries' (Shoestring Press) SKINBOUND today your body is no longer confined in a downward slope of spine to the ends of toes and fingertips today is not about small sips of the world taken through tired eyes and skin today you open and colour comes from you and to you, and through and through whispering the jazz rhythm of brushes on skin dancing like light through single malt and your particles forget the worries they have about being arms and legs your ten knuckles and the busy ventricles of your heart and your nuclei abandon tasks of multiplication and division and the atoms of your lips and nipples say fuck it let's dance and the colours spread and the gap between you and everything else opens and closes like gills transforming dark into tie-dye silk the weft and warp unwinding you into someone else, something else, everywhere else today you escaped the endless chatter of you for a moment you opened like blossom for a moment you fell like blossom Mandy Coe 'There Will be Cherries' (Shoestring Press) THE TREE THAT WALKS The tree that walks sways along the dusty road, bringing its shadow along the dusty road. A giant: the tree that walks. On the forest highway, lorry drivers hauling neat-cut logs blink and cross themselves trying to unsee what they just saw. It crosses the railway lines, the tree that walks, so the five-fifteen, all horn and brakes makes commuters spill their drinks. On the airport runway, captains push up captains’ hats to scratch their heads. Jets roar, but the tree that walks does not pause, its leaves sway and caterpillars swing from invisible threads. Birds sit tight on their nests so not one egg falls. A film truck follows the tree that walks, footage appears on the rolling news. A general offers to blow it up. A politician suggests talks. Headlines shout: TREE WALKS! Up our dusty road it comes, to a dusty town where dogs' tongues hang out by miles and all the grass is dry as bone. And when the fuss has died down we fetch pails of water for the tree that walks. Last night we heard an owl for the first time and this morning the tree that walks let its seeds fall like rain. Today we gather by the derelict barn to watch the mayor hammer in a new sign: ‘Welcome to Walking Tree Town'. Mandy Coe 'There Will be Cherries' (Shoestring Press)
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