INDIGO DREAMS PUBLISHING LTD
GEOFF STEVENS MEMORIAL POETRY PRIZE 2021
Marie Lightman grew up in Lowestoft and now lives in the North East of England with her two sons.
She has edited the online anthologies, Writers for Calais Refugees, Writers against Prejudice and The Winter Solstice Anthology (with Richard Skinner).
Marie is editor of The Writers’ Cafe Magazine and hosts the spoken word night Babble Gum in Newcastle.
One of her passions is the game othello and has won the UK Women’s Championship three times.
138 x 216mm
£6.00 + P&P UK
Shutters opens the door to reveal dark corners where witches and ravens reside and out of the corner of your eye you might glimpse ghost flies...
Marie Lightman's poems take us to 'a town on the edge of the world'. Realism and surrealism are natural partners here, as much as the sea and the sky, or caves and forests – the residencies of witches. ‘Shutters’ is a superb debut pamphlet from a highly skilled and imaginative poet.”
“In ‘Shutters’ Marie Lightman reveals what is there in the world and otherworld around us. These are extraordinary and beguiling poems of concise epics that unveil memories with the grace of an archaeologist’s brush. This is one of the finest debut pamphlets I have read and kudos to Indigo Dreams for finding a writer so interesting and unique that I wanted to carry on and read more.”
“Short, spare, beautiful and brilliant gems of poems – Lightman’s eye is clear and unblinking. The poems are fierce and watchful, with a poet artfully applying brush-strokes of intense colour and vivid images; here is Fuzzy Felt and ‘the breath of crows’, tears stored in ice-cube trays, witches, spiders and more. Poems where magic in the everyday is understood and accepted. “
Screw Top Jar
When the darkest way is here: I cup
your shadow, breathe in pepper
dotted with air. To inhale is to love
bound red ribbons to a dove. I retreat
into a hand drawn box: Francis Bacon's
severe dimensions. You keep me tight
within parallels. Body stands above
flesh fruit, unburned ready to haunt,
to throw in sticks with stone, eyes
collected together in jars.
This world is full of ghost flies.
I hear you grant wishes, in particular
the delicate, concerning the heart,
our bride forever, La Pascualita,
Mexican embalmed bride.
In the next village, the girl
I have fallen in love with, Maria Gomez,
one year older, runs like a deer,
sits behind me in class. Placing
a candle by your shop window,
I’m followed around by your eyes.
I think of you on your wedding day:
a death by black widow spider, immortalised
by your mother, as a bridal display,
now and forever, always alive.
La Pascualita, respond. My only wish
is to lay my head down beside her.
Call your name up the stairs,
comes back to me empty,
like an empty bag of oranges
spilt on the floor.
I replace my son Albert's voice
with my own,
store it in a drawer
next to unwritten Degas postcards
addressed to friends I don't know any more
and a photo of me in hand-me-down 60s clothes
On cloud-darkened heather moors
I carry a net over my shoulder
and a wooden box, no holes.
A peacock lands on my hand, cochineal,
aquamarine and sunshine.
With a swoop, I trap it in the net.
A tracing paper butterfly line
drifts up to the light. Later,
the box is full of butterfly dust
and a specimen, relaxed
then brittle to pin.
Moon step clip stone chips.
Shadows whisper through hair,
wet turns to ice. My blanket cloak
shrouds, I am witchlike.
Take the breath of crows,
bag them, yellow eyes.
Play knocky-nine-doors on huts,
fire spittle at anyone that opens up.
My paw tracks in the snow.
Leave behind a gift of bread and your rest.
(A vědma is a Russian witch.)
I collect every tear you shed
and store them in ice cube trays.
On the anniversary of the day we met
I pop them under the warm tap,
defrost each one, every hour,
and watch them melt in my hand.