INDIGO DREAMS PUBLISHING LTD
GEOFF STEVENS MEMORIAL POETRY PRIZE 2021
Daphne Milne trained as a painter but had to stop when BC treatment prevented her, physically, from painting. She returned to writing and has been published in magazines and anthologies both in print and on line. Her work is informed by her painting and by her time as artist in residence to the Northern Chamber Orchestra
She also writes short stories, flash fiction and prose poems which vary from the darkly humorous to the vaguely sinister.
Daphne moved to Australia from Cornwall in January this year. She has no intention of moving further south.
Daphne reads regularly at Perth Poetry club, and was the ‘feature poet’ earlier in the year. She has also read at the Perth Festival fringe and has just recorded a podcast for ILAA radio magazine.
She also writes short stories, flash fiction and prose poems which vary from the darkly humorous to the vaguely sinister. She is currently working on a flash novella, a collection of short stories and a further collection of poetry.
138 x 216mm
£6.00 + P&P UK
The Blue Boob Club
The Blue Boob Club gives us a brisk canter through the experience of breast cancer, the people involved in treatment, friends made, the effect on family.
There are references to painting, music, holidays, ornithology, and George Formby, amongst others.
"Anyone who can write about breast cancer and make me laugh has to be someone special. I love the way the poems are so distinctively Daphne’s. Look out for the Oncologist poem if he calls me dear lady once more / I shall thump him, that’s not the half of her feelings for him. Nor half the joys in this book, either, as it looks at the difficulties of cancer with
such a wry eye."
"In spare, unsentimental language Daphne Milne charts her journey through diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. With honesty and humour she takes us on a roller-coaster ride, rich with suppressed emotion, the fear of dying hidden in a joke. This is an impressive debut pamphlet from a poet whose distinctive voice will stay with you long after you have finished reading."
"Here’s a journey we all dread; one that Daphne Milne pulls you into, that you can’t/shouldn’t leave until you’ve reached the bittersweet end. These poems are clever, witty, sometimes sarcastic. Who else would have thought of comparing radiotherapy with Postman’s Knock? There are interjections of music, snippets of biting thought, a focus on the colour blue, pthalo blue – a school uniform sort of shade. I can’t remember being so moved by such an arc of an uncomfortable journey.
Last year’s paintings stay mute
in my studio
The stark white page waits
I make my marks
Writing’s easier to do in bed
Pencil leaves no trace upon the sheets.
uses the tone of voice reserved
for babies and small children
if he calls me dear lady once more
I shall thump him.
He has colleagues my age or older
bet he doesn’t speak to them like this
and he doesn’t to my partner.
But I’m a patient
and a woman
I haven’t got a bus pass
a walking frame
a hearing aid
I do have all my own teeth
a full set of marbles
and a lump in my breast
which seems to give him the right
to tell me I’m good for my age.
Next time I see him I shall bring a pram
He’s so recently out of one it should still fit.
Now I’m 64
The Registrar asks Are you pregnant?
A startling thought at sixty four
I’m too busy living
to think of second childhoods
grabbing second chance before
my second childhood comes
If the youngster read the notes
he’d assume I’m past all that
Wrong again – Yippee –
shenanigans without the consequences
also the equipment was removed
more than ten years back
It’s in the notes.
Pinpricks on the screen
miniscule exploding stars
travelling at light speed
or near enough to threaten.
Pinpricks on the skin
one two three in symmetry
registration marks clear
as any printed circuit.
It seems it is not too late
and I am not too old
to get a tattoo.
Daughter will be horrified.
The C Word and the F Word
Everybody tiptoes round it
whispering behind cold lips
looking askance talking
hurriedly about the weather
The clinic’s a relief
No pussyfooting here
carefully as medicines
I am driven to the internet
vile computer that I hate
Another C word
full of complex information
if only I could get it out
I am as ignorant of computer speak
as I used to be of carcinoma.
Don’t say it quietly
Say it fff.
Underneath the crisp white blouse
blue morphs into half a rainbow
mammaries become primaries
blue and yellow and shades between
traces of purple midnight lurk
in the wide yonder
Ruffle up that calm exterior
reach for the sherry
in the Bristol glass
sail from that west coast port
across uncharted waters
to the blue horizon
Small Thought in the Early Hours No. 2
The surgeon says no gardening this year
every neat-as-knitting stitch needs time to heal
The clematis at the end of the path
run rampant as metastases
They’re old varieties – Blue Tit and Pink Willy
unavailable now I wonder why
skies clear and high over England
misleading as the threat of summer heat
the semi circle of the horizon
stained cobalt from sunup to evening
not clean ultramarine like southern France
snow capped Canegou retaining winter
here all and anytime cold winter
flesh dyed to guide the surgeon’s knife
pthalo blue on alabaster breast
Later a rough tattoo guidance for the killing rays
exorcising fragments violating cells and self.
Note: Blue dye is injected under the skin close to the tumour site to help identify the main lymph node for removal for diagnosis.