Sarah Watkinson – Roman Sunset

Roman Sunset

Over the roofscape a smoke-ghost
rises, or darkens down in inky swirls,
shape-shifter of a million souls.

It is a thing, light as an idea, a shoal
that offers no purchase to a predator.

Out in the macquis, spent cartridges
mark the vanished warblers’ passing.
On Aphrodite’s island, migrants die.

Safe here, starlings swoop and settle.
Every bird knows its own roost, like me
in my pensione near the forum.

https://sarahcwatkinson.wordpress.com

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Sarah Watkinson – Folly Pool, Bladon

Folly Pool, Bladon

I see the boys of Bladon in their August camp
on the fenlock meadows droughted in late summer
shouting, plunge into the current looping
through willow curtains, into the pooled bend of the river.

I feel again oozy cow-trampled dung-mud
suck at my bare feet. I launch
into the eddy and curl below the outflow
from the industrial estate at Hanborough

and if I walk past the church to the footpath crossroads
and my dogs set up a conversation
with a stranger, a smile-shape, a set of the eyes
or a phrase, might remind me of one of those boys.

 

 

Sarah Watkinson is a plant scientist with a 2012 degree in creative writing from Oxford University. Her poetry has appeared in print in Pennine Platform, Tips for Writers and in anthologies, and online at the Poet’s House, Oxford, The Stare’s Nest, Fake Poems and Waterlines. In 2014 she was second in the Swindon Poetry Festival Competition and shortlisted at the Ilkley Literature Festival Poetry competition.

Sarah Watkinson – The Retired Doctor’s Allotment

The Retired Doctor’s Allotment

Look at that necklace of cherry tomatoes bright as
hedgerow berries strung along vines of bryony
his harvest festival of marrows and tasselled sweetcorn
a wealth, a diverse burgeoning abundance.

How different it is from the wrecked soil of the farmed fields –
panned earth, a wide waste of dead stalks,
the hedge, flailed low, barren of bird food;
unloved, the land worked for money only.

 

Sarah Watkinson is a plant scientist with a 2012 degree in creative writing from Oxford University. Her poetry has appeared in print in Pennine Platform, Tips for Writers and in anthologies, and online at the Poet’s House, Oxford, The Stare’s Nest, Fake Poems and Waterlines. In 2014 she was second in the Swindon Poetry Festival Competition and shortlisted at the Ilkley Literature Festival Poetry competition.

Sarah Watkinson – Faithful Servant

Faithful Servant

 

Ride? I don’t think so. They’re only here as her cronies

 

All they want is to chatter, like kids on ponies

 

Ignoring me. Lucky I’m trained, I relax.

 

Slack-reined, the passengers scratch each others’ backs

 

Ambling like toffs in Rotten Row on hacks.

 

 

 

 

(An acrostic by Raisa, the retired police horse owned by Rebekah Brooks and lent to David Cameron to ride.)

 

Sarah Watkinson – Neonicotinoids

Neonicotinoids

Out at the back they huddle
turn off, tune out, ignore
their office messages, tobacco-calmed.

Beyond the ring-road silent orchards
stare up at an empty sky
while the bees, receptors jammed
are all on auto-reply.

 

Following a career as university lecturer and researcher in plant sciences I set out to write poetry in 2010. I study with Jenny Lewis following an Oxford Diploma in Creative writing, and have attended numerous workshops in Oxford and at Ty Newydd. My poems have appeared so far in Pennine Platform, Tips for Writers, anthologies and online http://jennylewis.org.uk/students/sarah-watkinson/ and I was highly commended in last year’s Norwich Writers’ Circle Open Poetry Competition judged by George Szirtes. I am working on a collection of poetry related to environmental concerns.