These are linked poems created week by week for a year, inspired by the book No Choice But To Follow, and the poets therein who did it first.

Monday, 28 April 2014

April #4

Lifting the Lid

The things we find when we go deep
can be mysterious, like dreams.
Descending the abyss of sleep,
we find not all is what it seems.

For dreams use symbols, and distort
the things we find when we go deep.
Decoding leaves us overwrought,
unsure if we should laugh or weep.

Yet, if we take a wakeful peep
below the lid of consciousness,
the things we find when we go deep
may still be anybody's guess.

Myself, I'd rather meditate 
(the path of therapy being too steep)
and in that peace to contemplate
the joy I find when things go deep.

— Rosemary Nissen-Wade

Monday, 21 April 2014

April #3


Toast crusts, pork scratchings,
burnt bits of meat,
borders of gardens,
bushes trimmed neat,
beaches and cliff tops
where nesting birds wedge,
some of these things can be found on the edge.

Lace upon lingerie, good for a thrill,
spun sugar topping Chantilly cream hills,
butterfly stroke for surface swimming,
makeup and fake tans on plastic-faced women,
suited blokes smiling with hard cold eyes,
coral reefs dying where golden sands lie.

For things of importance
the things we should keep,
those are the things we find when we go deep.

— Michele Brenton

Monday, 14 April 2014

April #2

Landscape for Clues

after reading Marge Piercy's 'The Cat's Song'

The cat will not speak her troubles,
but hides with them in the back yard ferns,
her eyes suddenly duller than autumn leaves.
Her white chest fur is dirty,
her backbone a line of mountains,
sharp as the Andes.
The cat does not speak her illness.
Her instinct is to shelter and die.
Her body is a landscape
to be felt for clues.
Medicine drags her back to life,
too slow, much too slow.
The cat sits on the bed,
close to the edge.

— Helen Patrice

(Tilly did come back to full health from pancreatitis. At the time of editing, she is our largest cat, very healthy, very stupid, and her hobby is hallucinating that the fence moves.)

Monday, 7 April 2014

April #1

“that oaf who tried to hit on me”

Dredging memory
for oafs
looking for louts
who chose me
as victim
who hit on whom:
Was it I
with my lust
for impregnation?
Or they, addicted
to seek-and-destroy tactics?

My daughter
could probably invent
a few pithy stories
on Facebook
but I
can only stare
out the train’s window
hoping for reflection
searching instead
a flat dry developed
for clues.

— Jennie Fraine