Search
  • kathleenmcphilemy8

Poetry Worth Hearing: Episode 8

Welcome to Episode 8 of Poetry Worth Hearing, back after a summer break. This episode is slightly different in that it is devoted largely to one poet, Dinah Livingstone. There is an extended interview with her where she talks about her influences and themes and reads from her own work and that of other poets she cares about. The interview is followed by a shorter than usual open section featuring poems by Andrew Dixon, Lizzie Ballagher, Stephen Wren and Alice Willington. The texts and information about the poets will be found below.


 


I first met Dinah Livingstone just after I finished my Ph.D thesis and was looking for something to do. I joined her Camden Voices class at the Camden Institute, which was part of the ILEA. I knew of Dinah as a poet through various little magazines, but I quickly came to appreciate her skill as a teacher, or facilitator, as she prefers to put it. We were a very mixed and constantly changing group of would-be poets but many of the group went on to become established writers and sometimes poetry 'teachers' themselves, perhaps, notably, Mimi Khalvati who founded the Poetry School. Dinah did not set us tasks or make us practise forms, although form was often discussed and I remember one long-running debate about sonnets. What she excelled at was sifting the wheat from the chaff, identifying where poems worked and where they did not and she managed to do this without upsetting the delicate sensibilities of her students, even though she was capable of being extremely forthright in her opinions.

I also came to know Dinah as a publisher. She enabled my first pamphlet, which was published through Camden Voices. Later, she published two of my collections through her own press, Katabasis. Dinah has, for the most part, been self-published, a choice which has let her control the production of her books and allowed her to branch out into publishing the work of others, usually with the support of Arts Council grants, now rarely available. The wide range of her publications can be seen on the Katabasis website, link given below.

As well as publishing poetry, Dinah has also published several volumes of prose, discussing her views of poetry and theology. These works are an intrinsic part of her output, which has remained consistent and coherent from the outset, founded on her interest in religion, her early training in theology and her persistent engagement with politics, from Greenham Common, to the Sandinistan revolutionaries in Nicaragua to the Occupy movement which briefly set up camp next to St Paul's Cathedral. However, despite her commitment, Dinah has never been a joiner, and has preserved her authentic, sometimes lonely, voice throughout her long career. At the same time, she has retained a generous openness to poets and poetic voices very different from her own, placing quality ahead of dogma. There are many other aspects of her work which could be mentioned: her editorship of the magazine, Sofia, originally just the organ of the Sea of Faith Network which developed out of the writings of Don Cupitt, but which has become, under her guidance, an admirable literary/theological/philosophical periodical which may be niche, but is very accessible. She has also worked all her life as a translator, partly to earn her bread, but also for love, as in her many translations of South American poetry.

Lists of her publications are given below together with a short biography. I hope this episode of Poetry Worth Hearing will mark my appreciation, and that of many others, of this remarkable poet.



Dinah Livingstone had a rural childhood in the West of England and has lived in the same house in Camden Town, London, since 1966. She has published in magazines and anthologies, four prose books and ten collections of her poetry, the most recent being Embodiment (2019). She ran the Camden Voices Poetry Group from 1978-98. She is a translator from French, Spanish, German and Italian, runs the small press Katabasis and edits the magazine Sofia. She has three children and two grandsons.

Publications

POETRY BOOKS: Embodiment (2019) The Vision Splendid (2014) Poems of Hampstead Heath and Regent's Park (2012) Kindness (2007) Presence (2003) Time on Earth: Selected and New Poems (Rockingham Press 1999) May Day (1997) Second Sight (1993) Keeping Heart (1989) Saving Grace (Rivelin Grapheme 1987)

POETRY PAMPHLETS: St Pancras Wells (Hearing Eye 1991) Something Understood (1985) Glad Rags (1983) Love in Time (1982) Prepositions and Conjunctions (1977) Ultrasound (1974) Maranatha (1969) Tohu Bohu (1968) Beginning (1967)

PROSE: The Making of Humanity: Poetic Vision and Kindness (2017) Poetic Tales (2010) The Poetry of Earth (2000) Poetry Handbook for Readers and Writers (Macmillan 1992)

EDITED: This Life on Earth (prose and poetry, SOF Network 2009) Work: An Anthology (prose and poetry, 1999) Camden Voices Anthology 1978-1990 (poetry, 1990)



Her translations (from Spanish, French, Italian and German) include:


POETRY:

Tongues of Fire by Alfredo Cordal (ed. and part trans., Katabasis 2011); Nicaraguan Peasant Mass (Misa campesina), by Carlos Mejía Godoy (3rd revised edition with a new introduction by DL: Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign, London 2007); Mother Tongues Anthology (part: translated new poems by Roberto Rivera-Reyes and María Eugenia Bravo, Modern Poetry in Translation, London 2001); Nosotras: Poems by Nicaraguan Women, (Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign, London 1999); Life for Each, by Daisy Zamora (Katabasis, 1994); Poets of the Nicaraguan Revolution (ed. and trans., Katabasis, 1993); Prayer in the National Stadium, by María Eugenia Bravo Calderara (Katabasis, 1992); The Music of the Spheres, by Ernesto Cardenal (Katabasis, 1990); The Nicaraguan Epic, by Carlos & Luis Enrique Mejía Godoy and Julio Valle-Castillo (Katabasis, 1989); Dawn Hunters and other Poems, by Roberto Rivera-Reyes (part: LA Writers, London 1989); Anthology of Latin American Poets in London, (part: LA Writers, London 1988); Nicaraguan New Time, by Ernesto Cardenal (Journeyman, 1988); Nicaraguan Peasant Mass by Carlos Mejía Godoy (songs: Catholic Institute for International Relations, London 1986); Poems, by F. García Lorca and John of the Cross (Katabasis, 1969).


PROSE:

Benedict XVI - A Life. Volume II: Professor and Prefect to Pope and Pope Emeritus by Peter Seewald (Bloomsbury, London 2021); Benedict XVI - A Life. Volume I: Youth in Nazi Germany to the Second Vatican Council by Peter Seewald (Bloomsbury, London 2020); The Following of Jesus: A Reply to the Imitation of Christ by Leonardo Boff (Orbis, New York 2019); To the Margins: Pope Francis and the Mission of the Church by Andrea Riccardi (Orbis, New York 2018); I have Learned from the Least by Luis Antonio Tagle (Orbis, New York 2017); The Church Cannot Remain Silent by Oscar Romero (part:. Orbis, New York 2016); Morning Homilies III by Pope Francis (Orbis, New York 2016); Morning Homilies II by Pope Francis (Orbis, New York 2016); Morning Homilies I by Pope Francis (Oribis, New York 2015); Francis of Rome and Francis of Assisi by Leonardo Boff (Orbis, New York 2014) The God of Jesus Christ by Walter Kasper, trans. new Introduction (T. and T. Clark, London 2012); Jesus the Christ by Walter Kasper, trans. new Introduction (T & T Clark, London 2011); Love, Imperfectly Known by Brother Emmanuel of Taizé (Continuum, London 2011); The Eye of the Needle by Jon Sobrino (Darton, Longman and Todd, London 2008); By being It Is, The Thesis of Parmenides, by Nestor Luis Cordero (Parmenides Publishing,Las Vegas, distributed by University of Chicago Press, 2004); Zapatista Stories,by Subcomandante Marcos (Katabasis, 2001); We Will Not Dance on our Grandparents’ Tombs: Indigenous Uprisings in Ecuador, by Kintto Lucas (CIIR, London 2000); Angels of Grace,by Anselm Grün (Search Press, London 1999); Carlos, Now the Dawn’s No Fond Illusion,by Tomás Borge (Katabasis, 1996); Santo Domingo and After, by Gustavo Gutiérrez, Jon Sobrino and others (part: CIIR,1993); Our Cry for Life: A Feminist View of Liberation Theology, by Maria Pilar Aquino (Orbis Books, New York 1993); Systematic Theology, Perspectives from Liberation Theology ed. Ignacio. Ellacuria & Jon Sobrino (part: Orbis Books, New York 1993); Mysterium Liberationis: A Dictionary of Liberation Theology ed. Ignacio Ellacuria & Jon Sobrino (part: Orbis Books, New York 1993); Led by Hope by Luis Alonso Schökel (St Paul’s Publications, Slough 1991); In the Autumn of Life by Luis Alonso Schökel (St Paul’s Publications, Slough 1991); Moses, by Luis Alonso Schökel (St Pauls Publications, Slough 1990); Companions of Jesus. The Murder and Martyrdom of the Salvadorean Jesuits, by Jon Sobrino (CIIR, 1990); Martyrdom in El Salvador (Church in the World pamphlet 27, 1989); The Future of Liberation Theology. Essays in Honour of Gustavo Gutiérrez (part: Orbis Books, New York 1989); Death and Life in Morazán by María López Vigil (CIIR, London 1989); Eight Day Retreat with St Ignatius of Loyola by Norbert Alcover (St Paul’s Publications, Slough 1989); The Crucified Peoples, by Jon Sobrino (CIIR, London 1989); In the Thick of his Ministry by Carlo-Maria Martini (St Paul’s Publications, Slough 1989); We are like Dreamers by Walter Beyerlin (T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh 1982); The Living God by René Voillaume (Darton, Longmand and Todd, London 1980); Jesus of Gramoven, by A. Pérez Esclarín (novel: Orbis Books, New York 1978); The Liturgy Today and Tomorrow by Joseph Gelineau (Darton, Longman and Todd, London 1978); This Day is Ours by J. Leclercq (SPCK, London 1976); Simplicity, by G. Lefebvre (Darton, Longman and Todd, London 1975); Source of Life by René Voillaume (Darton, Longman and Todd, London 1975); Love by Ernesto Cardenal (Search Press, London 1974); The Desert is Fertile, by Helder Camara (Orbis Books, New York 1974); Courage to Pray by Anthony Bloom and Georges LeFebvre (Darton, Longman and Todd, London 1973); The Tupamaros, by Alain Labrousse (Penguin, London 1973); The Poor Sinner’s Gospel, by Wilhelm Weitling (Sheed and Ward, London 1969); The Truth is Concrete, by Dorothee Sölle (Burns and Oates, London 1969); In the Kingdom of Mescal, by Georg Schäfer (Macdonald, London 1969); Nature and Grace,by Karl Rahner (Sheed and Ward, London 1963).

MISCELLANEOUS AND HOW TO BOOKS:

The Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna by Manfred Leithe-Jasper and Rudolf Distelberger (Scala Books, London 1998); Cooking with Coffee,by Lucas Rosenblatt et. al. (New Internationalist, Oxford 2002); 22 illustrated cookbooks, plus other works for the agency Translate-a-Book, Oxford; How to make Ceramic Character Dolls, by Sylvia Becker (Search Press, Tunbridge Wells, 1992);. How to Spot your Child’s Potential, by C. Drouin & Alain Dubois (Sheldon Press, London 1989); How to Get Pregnant and How Not to by C. Dolto, A.. Schiffmann & P. Bello (Sheldon Press, 1985).


Here is the link to the Katabasis website: https://www.katabasis.co.uk/


Texts of Dinah's poems from the interview:


Nature and Grace


The book comes in the post,

my first published translation,

Karl Rahner’s Nature and Grace.


I was paid £70.

Pregnant with my first child

I went straight out to buy an early

fully automatic washing machine

for the muslin and terry towelling

and the mountains of the rest.


My husband was angry:

‘You should have consulted me,’

he said, ‘it’s our money.’

I replied: ‘It’s our washing.’

He looked bewildered,

the idea had not occurred.


We liked theology and discussed

whether technology

doesn’t destroy nature but perfects it.

Would he have preferred

a wife stooped over the sink?

Appliances, I maintain, are an asset.

What is a gift and cannot be bought


is the moment of grace

when after all your sweat

the printed book arrives and the

publisher praises your translation.

That can’t be done by machine.

Or you write what you didn’t expect

and it is beyond prose – a poem.


And when, at last, your living child is born,

you see his face and the midwife

gives you him to hold,

himself and snuffling in your arms.



Keeping Faith


1

‘You do not have the faith, you are not saved.

We know the truth and you are in the dark.’

Insistently dogmatic, they believed

they had exclusive entry to the park.

The park was paradise, not in this world.

The locked-out doubters fled that attitude

which says: ‘You’re wrong, we’re right, we’ve got it nailed.’

No wonder faith’s become a dodgy word.

Hijacked by dogma, must faith then be lost?

So are you faithless if you be yourself,

believe in life on Earth and humankind?

Aren’t faith and hope and love a constant quest

to fumble through and struggle to fulfil,

embody an idea you have in mind?


2 Two Women

‘Myself is someone I have never known,’

my friend tells me, ‘I don’t know who I am.

I fear there’s no one there when I’m alone.

I play the roles but never can become.’

There is no self: it’s an illusion,

postmodernist philosophers declare,

you’re up-to-date in your confusion.

But she laments: ‘It drives me to despair.’

‘I’ve always known I’m me since I was five,’

I answer her, ‘is that just selfishness,

a stubborn arrogance I should abhor?’

‘No, it’s your good luck, keeps you alive.

Self-seeking is the curse of selflessness

but you speak for yourself. At least, that’s more.’


3

I’ve lost belief in supernatural beings,

I can no longer find them credible

but urgent still that gospel’s old foreseeings

of this world changed so life and love prevail,

with God belonging to humanity

and born on Earth, come down to home with us;

the glory and the fullness are to be

when all enjoy themselves and live in peace.

I knew that I was me when I was five,

I’m grown up now and not a little girl,

but still myself, though I don’t look the same.

Can’t faith in the divine vision also thrive

now grown into a mature poetic tale

becoming what was in it all the time?



Likeness in Difference


In Regent’s Park I hear the roar

from the football field.

In whatever language,

the roaring sounds the same.

Round St Martin’s Gardens

a mother walks with her two little ones

and speaks a language I don’t know.

Could it be Bulgarian?

But I do understand what she means

when she calls one back who has gone too far

or picks up the other who falls,

and comforts him, just as a mother

in English would call and console.


Translating that German book

was difficult. Huge compound words,

interminable sentences whose clauses

in unfamiliar order interwove.

Verbatim it would sound ridiculous

to us. I laboured to sort it out,

untangle it like garden wire or wool

with a will of its own. Sometimes I needed

at least three new full stops. A few days later,

re-reading what I’d done, I was surprised

the English sounded ordinary,

a normal procedure,

which is the same and not the same.


Yet actually I am glad

German is so German

and French so French,

that each language is so much itself

but using it is the same activity.

As Wordsworth says,

there is a peculiar pleasure

from likeness in dissimilitude.

In my garden I enjoy herb robert,

periwinkle, philadelphus, fuchsia, rose,

all flowering. Goldfinch,

blue tit, great tit, robin, wren

come to my balcony, all being birds.


Just ordinary living can be difficult

but here we are, doing our best

in London’s 300 languages.

In imagination that translates

into the city achieved and splendid

where Pancras and Kentish Town repose,

the hungry are fed, distressed are comforted,

all different kinds of humanity thrive,

each enjoying, enriching each other

and all share the common good.



Burning Bush


The fuchsia in my back garden is a sturdy shrub.

It keeps on growing.

This summer again and again

it thrust out more red flowers

with purple centres, delicate

and dangling for the bee.

Deep yellow and supported

through its spreading branches

nasturtiums tangle as they climb.


Like the burning bush

that spoke to Moses in the desert

a flaming miracle, it proclaims I AM.

My fuchsia is speechless

but I feel it and become its voice:

I AM, I say for it and for myself.

Should that be we are?

Yes and one divine I AM,

the living energy for each to be

and thrust and rest to do our job.



Naturally


I love this garden but am grieved

when some who praise nature feel

they must immediately contrast it

with a gleeful loathing of humanity.

They wallow in the wrongs that we have done –

which indeed we have – but disregard the rest,

the kindness and imagination.


I walk through the park

where a mass of alkanet, madonna blue,

mingles with pink campion

and cow parsley in glorious array.

In the playground I see the children,

black and white and pink and brown,

with mothers and fathers chatting,

exchanging worries and stories.

Each keeps an eye on them playing,

ready to help or intervene.


One encourages a timid boy to climb:

‘Put your foot there. Hang on! Yes, that’s right!’

Another tells her girl who barges in:

‘No, we must wait our turn.

We share. The swing’s for everybody.’

With routine toil and tender care

day after day forming small citizens.


Love is builder of cities.

We fall in love and may create new life.

We cook and feed a family and guests.

All kinds of loving,

maybe ecstatic or just ordinary,

strong, persistent, unrecorded,

goes on everywhere, all the time.

Naturally.


We are Londoners and I remember

moments in London’s history.

1936. The Battle of Cable Street

when Catholic Irish dockers

and many more Eastenders

joined their Jewish neighbours

to stop the fascists marching through.

No pasarán! they shouted

in solidarity with Spain.


No need to translate the words

just the action. And how that watchword

echoed in revolutionary Nicaragua

in a famous poem which thousands sang:

‘Even though we may not be together,

love, I promise:

No, they shall not pass!’


Although defeat and failure

come repeatedly, so do kindness

and poetic vision. The struggle continues

for the shining garden city

where everyone can flower.

Mortal fellow creatures of the Earth,

still is the human form divine

and humankind is part of nature

not its enemy.



Birdsong at Midnight


In the depths of winter

I woke at midnight,

not to screeching foxes,

but the birds were singing –

were they blackbirds, robins?


Usually my street, minutes

from hectic Camden tube,

is quiet, but sometimes late

and mostly at weekends

I hear disturbing shouts and slams.


Or just soft voices murmuring,

maybe a couple wandered off

from the World’s End to be alone.


The robin figurine

beside my red tin postbox

disappeared. I like to think

it was given as a love token

between the two. I wish them well.


Tonight at Christmas time

still the birds are singing

like angels gloriously,

even though it is dark

and love is difficult

and so is peace on Earth.




Sleep Sealed


My daughter gave me a black satin nightgown

for Christmas. I call it my seal suit.

If my grandsons are being a bit annoying

I smile and threaten revenge:

I will turn up wearing it at their school

and excruciate them with embarrassment.


But my seal suit is really for bed.

It is lovely and slippery.

If I can’t sleep and am fretting

I imagine I am a seal on a sunny beach

with a gentle breeze. I slither about

until I get comfortable and bask.


Then I play in the sea for a while.

When I begin to grow tired

I sink down to rest and give in.

I am becoming an island,

a solid body of land

with rocky outlying arms and legs.


I am part of the map of the Earth

and might stay like that forever.

But up till now I have woken

to another morning

and sometimes that waking moment

is when a new thought becomes clear.



 

Open Section


Andrew Dixon


Shadows

Surely you’ll remember

how it was when you were young,

going out into the sunshine,

holding hands with Dad or Mum


Surely you’ll remember

how your shadow tracked you down,

sometimes disappearing,

knowing where you’d next be found.


And how your shadow lengthened,

as the sun set off for home.

How it cheered you, being little,

that the sun could make you long.

But most of all remember

those first steps out alone

your parents stood behind you

and your shadow all your own.



The Loch Ness Monster’s Lullaby*


Hush

Sleep little one

Sleep in the ocean of your dreams

Dream in the ocean that was once our own

Before the age of endless ice

Before the continents grew old

The ocean wider than the world

The ocean always, ever, known

Dream in our darkest, deepest, home.

Dream little one

Dream in our darkest, deepest home

The ocean always, ever, known,

The ocean wider than the world

Before the continents grew old

Before the age of endless ice

Dream in the ocean that was once our own

Sleep in the ocean of your dreams

Sleep little one

Hush


*Translated from the Saurian


Shoof-Shoof

Shoof-Shoof

Shoof-Shoof

Shoof-Shoof


What is that sound?

Shoof-Shoof, Shoof-Shoof.

Is it a train? No it is not!

Choof-Choof is a train

Choof-Choof

Is it a pigeon up on the roof?

I’ll tell you the truth.

It’s certainly not. Pigeons go

Coof, Coo…ooof,

Coo…ooof.


Enough of these games.

I’ll tell you for sure.

It’s Charlie the baby

let loose on the floor.


He’s only nine months,

he crawls like a pro.

Shoof-Shoof, Shoof-Shoof.

Just watch him go.




Andrew Dixon is a retired scientist. He contributed a poem (in the voice of a child) to ‘Poems for Grenfell Tower’. He sings in a choir which he feels has taught him to listen, really listen, to sound associations and rhythms. He is also a strong believer in learning good poetry by heart in order to understand how it works.



Lizzie Ballagher


Cry of the Celts


In the pinch of a late winter

that should have flown north by now

to leave a southern spring,

she moves down Sauchiehall:

then sideways into snarling alleyways

& slipshod streets.


A piper in full Highland dress,

his cheeks florid, cap askew,

scarlet tartans flapping

in the skirling wind

plays “Flowers of the Forest”,

“The Water Is Wide”—O Waly, Waly!


She listens inside her hands & feet

& deep in her breastbone:

so many fluttering pennants of liquid song

rolling & unscrolling in thin rivulets & tendrils

to inundate her heart,

ensnare her soul.


His music blindfolds her to shoppers, cars

& blathering shop windows; so now through muffling tears

she hears instead only the blood-red-curdling

ribbon-uncurling melody swirling

scalding purple stain

from lost ancestral glens & crags.


The plaint & wail of pipes pours out,

overflows the heather air;

then raises her, sweeps her

over paving stones,

lifts her, free of weeping,

light as dancing, to float forever away.



Celtic knot found in translation


seed to stem to leaf

root to tree to fruit

flower to weed to grief

wood to coal to soot


soot to hearth to home

heart to hands to knees

moors to hills to roam

shells to sand to seas


seas to heave to sky

boats to breeze to run

sails to curve to fly

rays to flame to sun


sun to rise to light

stars to blink to fire

moon to wane to night

dusk to church to choir


choir to song to words

cloth to weave to wear

door to woods to birds

help to peace to dare


dare to dream to dawn

eyes to close to sleep

hope to dance to morn

life to live to keep


keep to path to farm

sheep to fold to fleece

wool to wash to warm

joy to tears to cease


cease to stand to cold

bell to tower to ring

arms to reach to hold

love to bed to sing


sing to sow to grain

shoes to walk to feet

soil to plough to rain

plant to sprout to wheat


wheat to bread to bake

fields to grow to feed

time to clocks to take

corn to gold to seed


seed to stem to leaf:

one knot shall salve all grief



Lizzie Ballagher was educated in England, Ireland and the USA. A member of the Society of authros and the UL Poetry Society, she now writes mainly about landscapes.She was winner of the Clayhanger Press cinquain competition in 2020 and has been runner up in competitions with the Welsh Poetry Competition and the Geoff Stevens Memorial Competition.


Her work has appeared in a variety of magazines and webzines: Poetry on the Lake, Words for the Wild, Alchemy Spoon, Dreich, the Ekphrastic Review, Spelt, Visual Verse. For a year in each case, she served as poet in residence for A Poem a Day (a schools’ poetry website) and for the National Trails’ website for the South Downs Way. Her poetry has appeared in various anthologies such as that produced by the Poetry Society and Forward Press for Places of Poetry.


Recently, she has been commissioned to write for two composers, Richard Hubbert (“Pushing back Night”) and Simon Mold (“Merciless Day: Chaconne for the Fallen”, now track 8 on Song Cycles, Heritage Records; also “Hold Me High” and “For Others”: Chichester Music Press).




Stephen Paul Wren



An Ode to Blood Pressure


For Scipione Riva-Rocci


I did not dwell on cell types

or colour.

Only the pressure of blood

in my veins.


My blood became the star of my theatre.

I thanked my parents and cognates

and all

other guides

as the star poured out its life

over seats (the cheap ones and the plush ones).


Behind the stage and curtain was a heart.

A machine that pumped.

(A boundless wonder).

Its sacred physics reached all my organs

in the theatre.


The immense pressure in my feet

as I stood.

I buckled under

the weight of my blood.


The banging of life against my vessels

was the first act,

second act,

and all acts.

The pressure built up on the theatre’s damp insides.


I saw an exit door contort during

one machine beat and another one flexed,

between beats,

in this bold ticker cycle.


The space was safe

so I just clapped and clapped.




Stephen Paul Wren studied at Cambridge (Corpus Christi College) and worked in industry for many years. He transitioned back into academia at Oxford (St Hilda’s College) before joining Kingston University in 2018 where he works as a Senior lecturer in pharmaceutical chemistry.

Stephen's poetry can be read at www.stephenpaulwren.wixsite.com/luke12poetry and you can find him on Twitter @Stephen34343631. His book ‘Formulations’ (co-written with Dr Miranda Lynn Barnes) was published by Small Press in 2022. His book 'A celestial crown of Sonnets' (co-written with Dr Sam Illingworth) was published by Penteract Press in 2021. Also, Stephen's poetry has appeared in places such as 14 magazine, Marble Broadsheet, Consilience, Tears in the Fence and Dreich magazine.





Alice Willington


Ultrasound


(for Sophie and her ferocious strength)

the screen turned on, waiting –

a minute translates

echoes to light.

My heart white silver,

pulsing,


fast calculus

triangulates, zooms,


finds the blood reluctant

to leave the ventricle,


a second repeat

after the boom,

a hesitation of butterfly wings

before flight

anyone might pause,

surprised from insouciance

by long Saharan heat,

but Life insists, beat.




Alice Willington won second prize in the 2009 Ledbury Poetry Competition and in 2012 was included in Lung Jazz, an anthology of British poets under forty. My poems have appeared in Magma, Under the Radar, Lucent Dreaming, The Harlequin, Horizon Review, New Linear Perspectives, Molossus, and Avocado. Her pamphlet Long After Lights Out was published by Eyewear in November 2015.




 




Please send submissions (4 minute recordings of unpublished work) with texts and short bio and/or comments and suggestions to poetryworthhearing@gmail.com


47 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Episode 8 of Poetry Worth Hearing should be available on Thursday, 29th of September. This episode is devoted largely to an extended interview with the poet, Dinah Livingstone. In addition, there are