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Deborah Gaudin


Dawn came dragging her
bloodied hem
along the skyline, fading purple to blue.

She’d been up all night chasing a sickle
moon for hell of it,
and for now she had stilled the storm.

Trees were piling uphill
for the light
a scramble we would like to emulate.

A cradling of boughs, more
tender than their
brittle nature implies, restful.

She struck a flint spark on sky's
hearth, sun up
and all song shout and trill.

stepping through shadowed trees
birch bark skin
wood smoke hair, trailing

blue behind her, a cloak tasselled
with catkins
the witchery flicker of a smile.

Right Up My Street

Summer, and in the street the sparrows squabble, taking dust baths in the road. The dark, cat piss smelling privet made vibrant with their chatter, kids in swimming pool changing rooms.

Over the fence gossip of starlings, perched on wire mesh telling of last night’s flight and roost.

Comparing details about their slicked back style.

Terraced poplars flicker light like television screens, filtering sun, making shade, a viewing point to watch street shimmer, where cats slink, dogs pant, and laden women heavy armed with shopping pass by without looking up from the chewing gum lichen pavement.

The gravel whirr of a hand mower carried from a back garden, scent of cut grass, rattle of hoe through stony ground, where corporate rows of salvia, pansies, face up.

Inside the reverential boredom of the Wimbledon bit-bat something to escape, out of hearing of those clipped BBC voices, down nose intonations of parsimonious sanctity. Outside the shrill go down of the call bell, summoning our neighbour to the fire station, his bumptious lumber to his small car an excitement in the drowsy afternoon.

The click/tick of the skipping rope tied to the front fence, turning a tune to the shuffle of feet; “I’m a little bubble car…”. Over and over, the short rhyme we both knew.

Countryside pressed against the small town, and a few roads take you to ruffled lanes where Queen Anne walked, marking the centre of wild carrot with royal blood shaken from her pricked finger. Through the trees. chimney stacks rose, of a house she knew, arch with pretention amid its cropped and clover studded lawns.

Not far to Widbury hill and the cuckoo’s shoutout from hollowed out elms, announcing its departure, as we longed to leave behind the smallness of our beginnings.

Long Mynd

I carry you with me, from the coal scented
flicker of autumn front rooms,
to wild sheep crusted moor. Ashes Hollow limed in light.
A hundred miles from concrete and clay,
pages turned bringing me here, to a future I dreamed.

Somewhere in bone and blood you accompany me,
my father, busy stoking anthracite
falling rustle of embers. Sunlight broken apart,
firing imagination, echoing my enthrallment
with words burning in books I read,
illuminating a bright world I wanted to inhabit.

Words drew me here, keep repeating, making a coda
for my life. I met the man from Shropshire,
stood under a lone pine, still solving the mystery
of ancient rocks, looked for a golden
arrow among winberries and lucky heather.

Today even the bracken is a soft crucible bronze
while overhead gliders silver fish sky.
I'm making my own myth, born from a home you
gave me, a bud broken from a rough
barked bough, through a cold indifferent winter.

Deborah Gaudin is a Pantheist poet, living on the Welsh Marches, whose connection to the land informs her outlook and writing.

As a member of  Border Poets, she has been inspired and exposed to a wide variety of styles, as well as improving her knowledge of the craft. She has been attempting to write poetry since she was encouraged at Primary School. She read her work as part of two Much Wenlock Poetry festivals, and in various pubs, clubs, village halls and cafes across the region. 

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