Chair of Ver Poets and member of Enfield Stanza. Lecturer and workshop leader: past subjects include Thomas Hardy, Dylan Thomas, Laurie Lee, Robert Frost, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, the Sonnet, Renga. Readings at Enfield Poets, Ver Poets, Stanza Bonanza Selected and prize-winning poems in competitions: Norwich Writers Circle, Poetry Kit, Ver Open, Enfield Open, Barnet Open, Salopian Open Competition Judge: Herts Literary Festival Childrens Poetry, Rennie Grove Rhyme and Reason, Preston Poets 2011 and 2016.
Angels of Galway Harbour Friday 1.59pm How many swans exactly line the harbour in Galway? And what is she doing up there, Our Lady in Effigy, filling an alcove in her perpetual pose of prayer? And another form, practising her tight-rope while lunchers on a quayside stroll pretend not to notice because the world is not a circus after all. And a heron stilt-walking on the mud of low tide- unfurling her clothy wrap - all curiosity for new research and fresh sites. And the camera on a tripod perched for the long-awaited moment when, at the entry to the church, today’s bride pauses, her train of white palpitating like a silken brook. And then – disappeared. The rope walker too in a moment of my inattention. The heron too. We used to say the passage of an angel would stop you mid-flow and misdirect your gaze. So time to speculate upon the angels, and how many can fit upon the quay in Galway. And are they passing by, or were they left behind – bereaved guardians of the faithful departed? The Shoe Brush Too seldom have I stood of late at the back door, my hand filling a shoe applying in short, swift strokes a brush to a moon of leather. It was once my service to the family to gather the scattered pairs, among them hers, and line them up for Sunday night attention. The hand would imitate the foot inside the soft chamber she had herself shaped, her toe prints silk-screened in, her heel pressed over the mould’s concavity. And how could I forget the foot itself: a Chinese fold of little toe; beauteous bunions like rough oolitic outcrops on a velvet fell; the confident parabola of its arch. My insensitive thumbing could never match the ministrations of the reflexologist, diploma’d and proper and white-tunic’d, who attended us late on when walking was finished and shoes were tidied away and dreamed dreams of dirt and puddles; but settled now for a frosting of dust, wipeable with a cloth –yes, a glancing pass of the hand at random times would do, and then in reverie, I could transform to a shoemaker for a princess captured in a dark chamber; and amend the mistranslation that turned a fur slipper, lithe and supple, to a brittle travesty, a useless piece of nothing, a slipper made of glass.
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