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Jacci Bulman grew up around Accrington, Lancashire, before studying Human Sciences at Oxford University.

 

She overcame a brain tumour and skin cancer, co-founded a charity for disabled children in Vietnam (The Kianh Foundation), and began to focus increasingly on spiritual understanding at its simplest – that God is Love.

 

‘In the holding’ is her second poetry collection, created alongside a new non-fiction book ‘Talking God – Daring to  Listen’ (Lion Hudson) about the importance of listening to others for us to find our own beliefs.

 

Poetry

 

138 x 216mm

 

70 pages

 

£8.99 + P&P UK

 

ISBN 978-1-912876-14-3

 

PUB: 23/09/2019

 

 

ORDER HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the holding

 

Jacci Bulman

 

 

‘In the holding’ has three connected sections, each considering how we can hold the gifts given to us, of love, communication and our mortal human life, with honesty and integrity – even when life is hard. The book follows a journey which becomes increasingly clearly a journey of faith – faith in the love that we all are.

 

***

“The casual, colloquial voice of Jacci Bulman’s poetry is deceptively simple and easy to listen to.

She has a compassionate eye that analyses human dilemmas and complex issues, setting them out on the page with a clarity of expression that disguises

a mastery of rhythm and form.”

Kathleen Jones

 

 

Where only the river flowed

 

Jo didn’t know much, only that he needed to sleep.

Slept for a long time in a room smelling of  

coconut and cheap perfume, and Bess didn’t wake him. She left

the door ajar to be sure he stayed then let him lie there

    on her cream cotton sheets

while she sat drinking Tennessee in the kitchen through

the hours when even the soil is sleeping, and then again

when the sun was hot through the blinds.

 

She couldn’t lie beside him, not knowing what he’d done,

how he’d got here, but,

    even though she knew it was wrong,

she got a kind of ease knowing he was there in her bed

sleeping deeper

than the well, and for a while she imagined

what they could have been, the two of them,

with a farm, chickens and a field full of barley, way out

nowhere, where the wood axe broke the quiet.

 

 

Joan

 

Clifford is telling us one of his stories

and we are laughing.

You, I see out the window

as you rush to pick us some spinach.

 

You come in with a bunch

of the biggest green leaves.

What about sweet peas...do you like sweet peas?

We nod and smile.

 

On goes your man with his yarn

as you return to the garden,

assured your husband is fair enjoying himself,

us being keen listeners.

 

Within minutes you’re standing in the doorway,

hands full of pure white flowers which have

in their own way an intoxicating smell.

I want to tell you how beautiful they are

 

but there is only a short enough gap in

Clifford’s tale – of your caravan days

on the Hebrides – for a quick

lovely and thank-you.

 

You join us.

Distracted now I watch your face

watching your man having a ball.

I sit quiet and you teach me kindness.

 

 

Some words are mine

 

Like the ‘down’

in C. K. Williams’ first horse going down

or ‘brain tumour’, ‘Blencathra’, ‘Scotland’.

They are my own.

I hear them –

reach out to possess,

pull them back:

words

so big,

without them

my feet would stumble

 

18th Birthday at Bolton Street Working Men’s Club

 

Wendy Brown has turned up so we can dance Adam-Ant-style,

kicking our legs to each side, looking wild,

and I’ve got a man I’m sure I love

watching me from the bar,

and we’re high on a belief,

a young untested faith

that life will carry on this good,

because it does;

 

we’re sweet on an absence of what comes after this,

absence of a taste like paint in the throat

that right now

can’t even be thought about,

is so far from being imagined

it’s almost a joke.

 

 

Jo and Bess

 

You say you don’t like marmalade

so I say it’s just orange jam,

 

you don’t like big trees

so I say they’re corrals for leaves,

 

you think squirrels are scary,

so I say they’re ponies for elves.

 

You say you suddenly can’t spell heaven

so I say try heave (as in pull)

with an ‘n’ on.

 

You say being in this place feels weird,

so I say imagine sitting by the Mississippi

on a big log.

 

You say why does it all come back

the same, every day,

the same world out there, in here?

 

I say let’s close our eyes, and behind them

it can all be a perfect somewhere,

 

you in your cowboy clothes,  

two fine grey mares standing by

 

while we make coffee on a campfire.

You say you don’t want to close your eyes,

 

    so I close mine, tell you of galloping horses.

 

 

Something good to think about

 

In many different places,

like looking at a single buttercup in a meadow of  buttercups,

or a grey stone in a river, spider on the wall,

to think, what if that is actually God, incognito?

God compressed into a single spider or stone,

directing the whole universe from

one spot, enjoying the fact nobody knows,

and then to think –

but then again that is God, because –

then lose the thread and

just stare at the buttercup or the

stone or the whatever, and

look around us,

be happy enough.

 

 

Bravery

 

 

Pure light. Not known by exposure to darkness.

Constant health, joy, hope.

Could bravery – through love –

to step into this,

be all we are missing, in this life?

 

 

JB amend 9781912876143