Jenni brought in Tiffany Atkinson’s fabulous poem, Nightrunner, which is published in her new book: So many Moving Parts, (Bloodaxe Books). The protagonist of the poem is racing through the harbor on a night run, with the intention of getting their obsessive mind off their ‘body’ their ‘job’ and their ‘love.’ Within the heart of the narrator is a ‘restless animal’ ‘watching.’
There is some lovely imagery in this poem and some well observed metaphors. The narrator describes her ‘breath like a bowl of dry ice.’ She uses the second person to great affect in this two-stanza poem. Interestingly, she describes her pumping 'heart like a full dish of blood.’
Gwyn brought in a poem that I very much respected called Twilit Woods – beautiful title by the way and a lovely pun. He describes the ‘pleasure of primeval rage’ in the veins of the competitors taking part in a bowls match.
His writing is very tight in this piece, the economy of phrase, and the meter is simply delightful:
With woods in fours or threes or twos?
That bring the grey haired to the rinks
To chase the jacks, dispel the blues.
The narrator describes the men listening for the ‘tell-tale clack.’ I think the onomatopoeic use of words really heightened the realism. The men play in the twilight - raising their ‘two fingers at the clock.’ The game of outdoor bowls becomes a metonym for life.
that a land riven by extremes of wealth
is a house shuddering on shifting sand.
This final statement refers to Christ’s parable – wherein a foolish man builds his house upon the sand and finds it destroyed by the bad weather; whereas, the wise man builds his house upon rock and it survives the storm. Nice observation without being too polemical.