Pauline Hawkesworth is an active poet, with three previous collections, many poems published in magazines and she has had her poetry translated into Romanian.


Her readings include the Poetry Cafe, London , Stanza verses Stanza meetings and Tongues and Grooves.


She has been involved for many years coaching track athletes, particularly sprinters. She is MC at St. Francis Church, Hilsea, Portsmouth.  Am secretary to Architect husband.


Pauline is President and Chairperson of Portsmouth Poetry Society.












138 x 216mm


36 pages


£6.00 + P&P UK


ISBN 978-1-910834-33-6


PUB:  6th  JANUARY 2017










The poems in ‘Life-Savers On All Sides’  interact with the poet’s surroundings and evoke the mysterious where possible, through nature or the possibilities of peoples’  behaviour.  




“In these poems Pauline Hawkesworth leads the reader a dance of the unexpected, where doors may open out of fields, or frozen washing imprison the Early Woman. Sometimes celebratory, often uneasy, these encapsulated moments of observations and imagination find her adept as ever at transfiguring the ordinary.”

Stella Davis


“Pauline Hawkesworth’s poems inhabit the twilight zone.  They invite the reader to lift up the corners of the everyday, to face the unknown, the spaces between.  In one poem the night is heard groaning ‘as daylight rubbed it away,’ in another a woman hanging washing finds herself fighting her way out of an ‘ice walled cell’.  These poems transport you into a world beyond our senses.  Enter if you dare!”

Maggie Sawkins





Life-Savers On All Sides


Pauline Hawkesworth

Life-Savers On All Sides  


The old man is swimming alone

in the children’s pool,

his body thickness almost

the depth of the water, rolling

hips, spare flesh, touch tiles;


when he stands up

his calves are submerged –

he fears deep water.


Someone in his infancy

may have pushed him into a spongy

bed that absorbed his being – mouth full

of monstrous mud;

a snake constricting breathing,


Today, the pool empty of children,

life-savers on all sides,

he is relaxed, smiling,

knowing only a tiny

viscous slither of water slides between

his body and the bottom of the pool.




The Early Woman …


pegs sheets and pillow cases

onto her rotary clothes line,

had waited for night to die.


It is cold – dawn straightens sheets,

water freezing tiny digits

set within their waft and web


until,  they silently clang,

slowly turning becoming triangular –

and she is fighting her way out,


walls of ice hemming her

inside a white-ice-walled cell.




The Straightness of the Sun’s Legs


The sun reveals the shape of her numerous legs;

they are straight, carving through the forest

creating tubes of florescent lighting,

touching both sky and loam in an above-ground

cave of stalagmites and stalactites.


Wearing a short skirt, her legs are out of control,

enjoying their own mode of line-dancing,

translating movements of clouds and wind

into a manuscript she alone can fathom,

her dance-floor expanding, keep out of her way.







The Night


The night has small pockets

we slide into – surreal swatches

the mind captures.

It wears a greatcoat, stands

perfectly still as if waiting

for a comet to take it away.


Its been outside the house

since I was a child, could see

the enormous blackness

when I looked over the yard wall,

heard its groans as daylight

rubbed it away.


It was a helpless creature then,

I tried to snatch at its lapel,

tried to reach its collar,

see if a smile of stars

waits on its tongue;

my hands too unsteady.




Giving Their All


A handful of swimmers in the pool,

plenty of space to push arms and legs out,

as far as they can reach.


Feet know how to arrange themselves,

not to break the rules

without ropes to divide each lane.

Hands, more difficult,

as passing they encounter flesh and bone.


Three young women,

tattoos slithering over their bodies

as sea-weeds from a fruitful sea,

dive as mermaids, touch tiles

two metres below the surface,

hair, opening as giant fans,

floats upwards in great pulses.


Some peoples’ bodies appear longer –

should be asked how they perform this trick;

I have seen their spines lengthen

as water unshackles vertebrae, cusps and discs.


I follow in their wake,

my body stiff as a peacock feather.

It’s the depth they dive that takes

my breath away;

a count of one, is all I know.




photo Hawkesworth