Helen Boyles is an enthusiastic writer with many years’ experience teaching English and Humanities, currently with the Open University.


Her first poetry collection, Catching Light was published by Indigo Dreams in 2016.


Helen has recently had an academic study published by Routledge on literary Romanticism and ‘religious enthusiasm'.











138 x 216mm


70 pages


£9.99 + P&P UK


ISBN 978-1-910834-68-8


PUB: 27/11/2017










‘Without impoverishing her lyrical directness, Helen Boyles witnesses to what can be seed in the thin soil while touching on a subtle manuscript of hope through the delicate braille of the mind's blind script.’

Peter Larkin  


‘It’s a particular distinction of Helen Boyle’s poetry that it combines a cool, analytical eye and a sympathetic entanglement with nature with landscapes and their human stories.

We see how the world is and how  it came to be so, through the agency of an endlessly

resourceful descriptive power.’

Alasdair Paterson






Helen Boyles



Writing in the dark


Filaments of cyclamen

erupt from swaddled corms,

unravelling, entwine and travel

through the moist dark.

They are discreet, mysterious,

surprising us in autumn

with mottled banners

clustering round tree boles

and in shaded spots,

flirting with light.

Singly and in company,

they prick out shining bracts

in white, cerise.

Ear sharpens to the whispers

of their secret passaging,

their knowledge of the dark,

slow sipping of the nutrients

indrawing as they stretch, swell,

break at last into our sphere of sight.

Mind fingers the braille

of their blind script, tracing

a subtle manuscript of hope



Looking to Iceland


On the northland spaces

of the outer isles we felt

the edge of your cold, the whip

of sails that cut the world’s edge.

We were grazed by the wing of flight

to other vastnesses,

drew on the fires that seethed

beneath your bitter crust.

We felt your white clouds

turn in our mind, twist

the iris of the day’s blue.

Weapons of change sharpened,

flashed in a new light.

Land of collisions, opposites,

extremes, slow mounting of rock

to new contours, silhouettes;

we struggled with your forces,

learnt from you.

We will tune to the thud of your heart

in our drowned sleep,

dig dark in the kistvaens  

of shared memory

to find ourselves again.



Ted Hughes’ Memorial


He is sleeping there

humped on a swell of moor

against the slow

passage of the cloud:

a granite metamorphosis.

Through the days’ swing

his body feels

the stippling of rain,

the lichen’s pigmenting,

feels the coarse grass

grazing his thighs,

a passing bird

perched on his brow

seeping its thin song.

His pulse sounds

in the throat

of buried streams,

muffles in earth

as letter gravings    

weather, fade to air    

A Knight and his Lady


This husband, wife, were floated

from another age upon a solemn bed,

angels kneeling at their heads,

softening stone pillows.

They lie recumbent, side by side

suspended in the vault of time

in attitudes of chivalry, obedience.

Exposed to view below the chapel’s fretted sky,

ringed with the rustle of prayers,

they keep their privacy; they are covered

by the patient vigilance of saints.


The light of autumn afternoons

uncurls the stiffened lineaments

of honour, duty, stirs the marble

of the pleated robe,

lapped scales of mail.

There they remain as shadows

of each hour, day, year

revolve on their sleep.

They are stranded but not alone;

they have moulded a companionship,

one hand on a sword hilt,

one on folds of skirt.

He holds out a hand,

she places hers in his;

looped in a pledge of tenderness

together they outface the spaces,

the dark that settles

when the feet have left.





We pluck each day like ripe fruit

from the wayside trees,

each different, but fresh and sweet:

greengage pale green-golden

like the morning’s eye,

mist bloom on pruneaux

deepening to purple as you rub the skin,

new pink of early figs slow-

plumped by the sun, each

savoured for succulence

and sustenance in southern light.

Earth unfolds and moulds

our trudging feet

across the limestone causse,

the sandy sentier, receives

the prints of soles and staff,

graved signatures of resolutions,

histories erased, remade by wind,

combed and crisped by seasons,

lifted and renewed, renewed,





For Kay


Eyes shining, she told how,

one day, far in the Spanish south

she woke before dawn,

watched as the sun

heaved light above land’s rim

to slowly claim the sky,

told how, from the world’s edge

it seemed, dark shapes emerged

across the fanned space,

gained size and shape and speed

as horses loosened from sun’s chariot

to toss and drum the startled plain.

Impetuous, out-chasing day and

streaming its birth fires they

tore from their harnesses,

raced and plunged new colours

in the waiting waters of the lake

where they stood, steam

curling off their flanks,

suddenly still.

It seemed they came from nowhere,

she said: ‘I felt like crying,

it was like a dream;

they were wild, quite wild,

that was the special thing.

Developing themes introduced in her  last collection, Catching Light, Transitions focuses on movement and change in the natural and human world and within certain historical contexts, looking at different examples in each of these three areas, with implicit overlaps.


She suggests  the shifts through which the world we inhabit unfolds externally and internally in a material and psychological sense,  and how new perspectives are revealed.

9781910834688 Helen amend