INDIGO DREAMS PUBLISHING LTD
GEOFF STEVENS MEMORIAL POETRY PRIZE 2021
Dawn Bauling was born in Sheffield but now lives in Devon. She is an English graduate and after a varied career as a Knitter, Florist, Youth Worker and Librarian, is currently Editor of poetry and prose magazines The Dawntreader and Sarasvati, Co-director of Indigo Dreams Publishing Ltd and also works part-time as a Medical Administrator at Holsworthy Medical Centre.
Dawn has won several poetry awards including the Bedfordshire Prize and the Joyce Searle Prize for Poetry and been published in many magazines.
Her first collection, Loud Voices In The Quiet Child, was published in 2008.
Dawn is the proud owner of one collie, one ex-hippy poet, two grown children, half an acre of forest and a Corsa called Pip.
Indigo Dreams Publishing
138 x 216 mm
PRICE REDUCED - SEE BELOW!
River Exe mussels with chilli, tomato and parsley
The foreplay is with warm bread and olive oil:
I licked my lips like a cat.
Then the mussels arrive
with just-opened steam
and a light dandruff of parsley.
You drool slightly
before choosing, teasing
the dark, hard lips
to reveal a first soft pearl.
You suck its sweetness
leaving a light aftermath
The Exe has done its work well.
I cross my legs
as you pluck and prick
with your perfect poet’s fingers,
slipping them between
teeth and tongue tip
dipping into the oil slick
in out, out in, dripping
frivolity, not necessity.
O lucky bowl.
O lucky tongue.
You will spoon the juice slowly
saying the spice is just right
the flavours lingering:
“Just hot enough.”
If only he knew.
We refuse dessert.
Under each dry stick
a bud may form
if the quick scald of fire
You thought I had no life
within. Such foolery.
I was a red fire lily
dancing on a bright wind
who would leave
pollen on your trousers,
for the want of a match.
"Dawn Bauling is a poet of rare lyricism and careful observation. She has an original eye for the particular and her poems explode with great joy. The keynote of her new collection is love - love of her man, children, landscape and dog. She approaches each poem like a gift she has just opened with wide-eyed wonder and the joy of being alive."
"This is one of those great finds: Shippen, unfolding inwards from ‘Field’ to ‘Gate’ to ‘Hearth’ to ‘Loft’, is a collection of quiet love poems, carefully wrought, original and unsentimental, that are so rooted in place that they are love poems for the world."
Read Ink, Sweat and Tears fantastic review here:
Henna On Her Hands
She will wear her lemon chiffon sari
with an ochre blouse and petticoat.
She will walk barefoot,
letting whispers of silk kiss her ankles.
Bells sing in a late sunlight.
She will tread over sandalwood
and jasmine to the old women
to have henna painted on her palms,
on white porcelain feet, as a blessing.
They will fuss her paleness.
In the baked red kitchen clay
they unveil a secrecy, a pattern,
stitching it with paste vines, leaves,
earth flowers until roots stick,
until she breathes the ancient.
They talk with women words
blushing the room in an innocence
whilst she washes in herbs, anoints herself
with oil from a cracked jar,
playing with another’s skin.
Bracelets sing on busy wrists
and, happy with her hidden sister, Daxia
gives a small vermillion bindi
for her head, as a seal, a sign, an eye
for the nine day dance.
Then let us take the garba pot
and spin each other’s skirts
around a wheel, an earth, finding
that difficult, delicate rhythm.
We hold each other in the round
wearing one another;
none so very different.