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138 x 216mm
£9.50 + P&P UK
The Impact of Limited Time
Indigo Dreams Collection Competition 2019
The poems in this prize-winning collection explore how the past exists alongside the present, from childhood to childbirth and from death to rebirth.
Some of these poems create a voice for those who have not been able to speak for themselves in history (including the housemaid of the baker on Pudding Lane and Pre-Raphaelite muse Lizzie Siddal).
From an invasive hospital procedure to the loneliness of single-parenthood, these narrators find beauty in the moment and within the context of their limited time.
First the kids lined up outside.
Their silent vigil lasted
and their parents’ eyes
tracked us like searchlights
through the boredom of their summer
when subtlety cracks like a river bed.
Our garden became
an ashtray, a dogs’ toilet.
We woke to eggshells
splayed across the path,
sprayed in fat red lettering.
On the bus, a girl gobbed
in my pigtails,
held a lighter to my coat.
It raged that autumn –
rising with the school-term:
a conflagration of hatred.
He sketched me once in Highgate
when waning light betrayed his charcoal,
failed his eyesight.
He cursed he couldn’t
catch my profile as it was.
I was patient and I ached.
As laudanum enters the bloodstream,
the mind numbs and elucidates.
Tonight my hair won’t be put out –
a fire before the glass.
In oils they never captured it so luminous.
At first I thought them moths, lured to its flame.
It was I who singed my wings,
I who crave these bitter tears
the vial spills on my tongue.
After the Solstice
The longest day swings on its hinge.
Newspapers smoulder with division.
This lick of political flames won’t be drowned
by a flash summer flood so fierce
our enemy rabbits hutch together, fur on fur.
We listen to the downpour, caught
between flash and thunder in our
half-finished, half-purchased house.
What future lies in ambush
for your sons, my daughter?
So we plough each week
into a furrow of the past.
Do you feel that dull insistence?
tugging at your substance
like a thread
spooling from the wheel
Stella Sculpts the Murderer
When I get bored watching my marriage
wither on the vine, I conjure your image.
I sculpt you without fantasy,
without moulding away your savagery.
Sometimes I run my tongue along
your coarse, clay cheeks.
I have lost touch with my own face.
The mirror takes and won’t return.
Last night, lying apart from you,
I dreamed I was Cassiopeia –
Ethiopian queen of constellations.
I ruled my kingdoms
with dirty hands and an ill-fitting gown.
When I woke, the light discharged
a warmth, like blood.
Then you were there, persisting.
Kitty Donnelly is an MA student at Manchester Writing School and has degrees in English and Mental Health Nursing. She has worked in mental health services for many years.
Her poems have been published in magazines and journals including Acumen, Mslexia, Quadrant and The New Welsh Review.
In 2019, she received a Creative Future Award and was commended in the McLellan Poetry Competition.
This, her debut collection. was a joint winner of The Indigo Dreams Collection Competition 2019.
Kitty lives in West Yorkshire with her husband and daughter, terrier Zip and cat Pepper.