INDIGO DREAMS PUBLISHING LTD

 

GEOFF STEVENS MEMORIAL POETRY PRIZE 2021

 

NOW OPEN

Poetry

 

138 x 216mm

 

36 pages

 

£6.00 + P&P UK

 

ISBN 978-1-912876-44-0

 

PUB: 08/01/2021

 

 

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A Language I Understand

 

Amy Louise Wyatt

 

 

 

 

 

‘A Language I Understand’ seeks to understand the relationships that the poet (and all of us) have with our past, our memories, our loved ones and how we can make sense of this, in our own unique way.

 

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‘A skilled and intuitive poet, Wyatt understands the tactile nature of sensory imagery. In her curation of personal artefacts, she holds each talisman, totem and relic up to the light so the reader can clearly view the significant people, places and memories that have been sewn into the fabric of these poems. Wyatt's miniature worlds pulse with a subtle, affecting power.’  

Ross Thompson

Author of ‘Threading the Light’

 

‘In this much awaited debut pamphlet from Wyatt, the reader is gifted a world full of hedonistic delicacies – the smell of tarnished neglect, the sound of horses’ hooves on cobblestones, the sting of lemons and budgie bites. At the end, the reader can say “that is ‘A Language I Understand’”.

Gaynor Kane

Author of ‘Venus in Pink Marble’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miniature

 

In the beginning, they bought me things

with pedals. Things to move me from my spot.

When all I wanted was a world in miniature

that was mine, that I could hold at once

in two small hands. You see, a book could

take me further than a bike; could take me

miles in seconds without fear of reprimand.

 

Henceforth, they bought me things with pages.

Things to move me all at once to empathetic

tears; to envy and to love; to anger and to fear.

 

And in this world of miniature I travelled

through the pages; held my breath on top

of man-made mountains built with words.  

Perished in the loneliness of every final page.

Then, breathed myself alive with each new spine

cracked open like a new born dragon sent to

set the world in miniature within my hands afire

 

 

Northern Hearts

 

Connolly Station: a surge of passengers ready to forge

their southern paths. As we worked ourselves loose

from the frenzied threads on a free street map we misplaced

our bearings. Dublin had us tangled in her knot

of streets, four feet teetering on convulsing cobbled paths,

St Patrick’s snakes bore us on their patchy backs.

 

Youths with legs outstretched played social in

some skulking alley; hidden from the outstretched arms

of the bustling maiden and her heady throng deeply

drunk on black. Men in bags with cups and heaven-pointed

eyes, brought forth that blessed are the poor for they

will inherit the kingdom, and we are all at once consoled.

 

We spilled into a bar. Fell under the spell of a fiery fiddler

with a stamping foot, a sense of fun and an upturned hat

for half-cut tippers with clinking change. Met Ballymena

man, who border crossed to greener grass, shared stories

into the early hours and hankered for a northern bond.

 

At three a.m. we laid our heads in attic bed. We clambered

through a laddered window in the roof to find our rest.

Awoke next morning to the clip clop of horses’ hooves

on the cobblestones of a hectic day, and streamed Irish light

through the curtain crack charging our northern hearts.

 

 

Daucus Carota

 

My granny only tailed before she peeled

because you need the stump of leaves to hold

an orange inmate captive while you skin her.

 

The topping of a carrot’s always last.

 

You behead Daucus Carota only when

the final ribbon of her sullied skin

has slithered off.

 

Then dice her into dancing suns.

 

Upon the board she looks like agate sliced;

at times she’s sceptres; half stars.  

 

She’ll dance again amid the broth.

 

The sun comes up within the pot.

 

 

Opening to the Light

 

I am in the garden and he is telling me

to go easy on the gin, for I can’t hold my drink.  

 

But the sun is shining. And it has been a long time

since I have seen the flowers open themselves

 

to the light like they do now, and I want to take it in.

He is telling me to go easy, for in the next room

 

our cat is dying. My beautiful boy is dying.

But the pots are alive with bees and I can hear

 

the children next door laughing; the neighbour

is mowing, for the rain is to come tomorrow.

 

The cat could be dead tomorrow he says.

But it doesn’t make me go easy on the gin.

 

For I am thirty-seven and almost everything

I have loved has died. It has been a long time

 

since I have seen the flowers open themselves

to the light, as they do now. I want to take it in.

Amy Louise Wyatt is a poet, artist and lecturer from Bangor, Northern Ireland.  Her work is widely published in Irish and international journals and anthologies.  Amy was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Award in both 2018 and 2020, and also longlisted in 2019.  

 

She was shortlisted for The Dempsey and Windle National Poetry Day Competition 2019; a finalist in The National Funeral Services Poetry Competition in 2017; and was nominated for 2019 Best of the Net.  

 

Amy won the inaugural Poetrygram Prize in 2019.  She has performed widely at festivals throughout Ireland, on BBC Arts Extra and for local television.

 

Amy is currently completing the second year of her MA in Creative Writing with Open University.  She is the founding editor of The Bangor Literary Journal.

‘A Language I Understand’ is her debut poetry pamphlet. https://amylouisewyatt.com/

The Botanist

 

Here, the scene from some botanical lab.

You as botanist: your kitchen window

 

sparks our Holocene age; makes glaciers

retreat from warmth of new sun spilt on sill.

 

Your busy hands propagate, prune, liberate.

Digits mossed and soiled; you birth spider

 

plants in Black Bush tumblers; strange test tube flowers

whose name you now forget, were smuggled home

 

from Portugal in ninety-three. This petri

dish prepared for last year’s Amaryllis,

 

is moist and ready to infuse with life.  

Everything in jam jars grows. Bursts forth.

 

Those once clipped, now, more whole since the cut.

Oh, how I want to tread the water too.

 

To feel my legs like shoots spread out and stretch

my history taciturn into

 

a fluid womb. Then ink-bled veins touch glass

and it is time to plant. You carry me

 

with those you grew, on tissue. Attach us

all as brand new beings to the earth.  

 

 

A Language I Understand

 

On the Lord’s day we ate ice cream  

after we went in peace.

 

The Sabbath was vanilla pod and tendrils

of gold sun, spun like sugar

 

from the glasses stained in temples

of our God’s almighty cliché.

 

The pews were hard, the cone was soft.

Maybe built with brimstone;

 

maybe left in air too long. It’s hard to know

in a world of inside outs.

 

With Holy Spirit raised on tongues in a language

only he will understand;

 

the rest of us are vessels open to the respite

of a day that will be tinged

 

with guilt because we cannot rest.  Maybe only God

can rest in peace,

 

for making milky ways and worlds and those who feel

both love and guilt,

 

deserves a break. Quite often now I go to pieces

on the Sabbath day.

 

The dam of septico about to burst; to spill my fears  

into a new-born week.

 

Take me back to worship my vanilla God, pushed inside

the hollow of a cone;

 

raised in a language I understand, spoken with a cold and

holy tongue.  

 

 

Sky Piece

 

As if cats are typing, weeds grow underground.

In bygone days, our baby took priority –

we stayed up late; everything was tardy.

 

We bestowed majesty; he threw his hands

from his crib, stole pieces of the sky.

This was our puzzle, sprawling in the nest –

 

causing eggs to crack; letting winged things free.

We wanted to collect each shard of shell –

reach the end of his alphabet; draw prizes

 

from the depth of my womb. But weeds

had grown underground, and even the love

we had stowed away, wasn’t enough.

 

 

 

 

 

author amend 9781912876440