GEOFF STEVENS MEMORIAL POETRY PRIZE 2018 IS NOW OPEN
Carol Argyris lives close to the Moray Firth and within sight of far northern hills.
She has had poems, short stories and flash fiction published in various magazines and on-line sites. She has also self-published three collections of local folk tales. Carol is strongly attracted by myths, folk tales and folk lore from all lands.
This is her debut collection.
138 x 216mm
£6.00 + P&P UK
PUB: AUGUST 2017
In ‘A Merry Aggregate of Atoms’, the past is interwoven with the present, the celebration of family, life-enhancing moments of humour and good food. The inheritance of legend and folklore is celebrated, ancient stories that still act as catharsis for individual hurt. This is a collection of moments that goes beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary...
‘These are poems from a life fully lived. Through Greek mythology to the honeyed taste of homemade baklava and the scent of olives, here are poems of love and loss. It is a joy to encounter poems of such maturity, freshness and strength.’
‘Often earthy and intimate, sometimes dark, the poems in this collection will resonate long after you have turned the last page.’ Andy Allan
‘This debut pamphlet from Carol Argyris explores the complexities of relationships with the world, friends, family and others. Poems mix myth, food, the human spirit and small seaside towns as proof each of us has a story to tell as the weave of past and present is viewed by a keen observer.’
Eileen Carney Hulme
A Merry Aggregate of Atoms
Ivan paints trees.
Tall slender trees of no particular genus.
As thin and greyish brown as his small body
they stand uneasily on foreign soil,
trunks ending bluntly where they hit the earth,
they balance, no roots descending.
Amongst these precarious trees
move cowled figures, faded, lost,
wanting that other, brighter, country.
Colours on his northern palette
are sluiced by rain,
turning to mud.
He empties sorrow onto his canvases
making palpable his longing.
I wonder if he cried
when torn from his native land.
Did he scream like the mandrake root
killing those around him with despair?
Ivan smiles now, carefully showing gratitude,
is preternaturally polite,
paints, is sold, is hung
in Galleries: Columbo. London. Paris.
Artist in exile.
Very attractive copy for the Press.
the lack of roots.
Painting Findhorn Bay
If I were a painter I would need variants of grey,
with a squeeze of Chinese white
to light the underside of clouds,
silver the intricate filigree of waves
scribbled by tide and current
on a mercurial bay.
A sliver of blue between air and water,
stolen from cobalt sails
furled on patient yachts,
their prows sniffing the north-westerly.
The rising land behind I’d put in with charcoal,
smudge with a wet thumb,
suggesting veils of rain.
Around the forest
a cuticle of sand
is slowly erased.
Push your fingers into the sand
below the tide line.
The sea will rise to find you
for it has never truly let you go.
Without water your thoughts will cease.
Sentience will fail.
Water ebbs and flows in you,
It disassembles, rearranges molecules.
It erodes, shifts, evaporates, reforms.
On its last cycle, when the sun claims it for ever,
the hot winds will come
to feed on the dust of your bones.
The water wants you to imagine that.
A Merry Aggregate of Atoms
an accidental coalescence of gases
danced into form one semi-conscious molecule
which rolled in cosmic breakers
through shoreless seas
until it found it could propel itself
and make some choices.
behind this merry aggregate of atoms,
the gathering crowd,
had tried a variety of creations
rejecting each with an impatient hand
until ours emerged.
Two arms, two legs, one brain,
(the second at the tail had proved a poor design).
We queued in millions to be born.
arriving, not like Aphrodite gracefully
full-formed upon the half shell,
but grey-slimed, damp and raw
thrust painfully into rubble, and the sound of sirens.
Before I took a breath
I may have heard Thought sigh:
‘This experiment has no need of me to judge
The Hair Shirt My Mother Knitted Me
Cloudy garments fit for a princess
grew from her quick needles,
fell like snow into her lap.
of her little daughter
dressed in white Angora,
blonde curls a gleaming halo,
round rosy cheeks.
Doing her proud.
Was it the long-haired wool
or the unhappiness she knitted into it
that caused my skin to itch and burn,
my face to flame,
my airways swell and close
as the frothy net enveloped me?
I’m so sorry mother
for my ungrateful body
that couldn’t make you happy.
Una was always last to leave a party
so it was no surprise to us
when the mechanism failed
to take away her coffin
to close the curtains on her.
We were forced to turn our backs.
To walk away.
It felt impolite.