Category Archives: Print

Poem in the Winter edition of the Bangor Literary Journal

SHOOT

Winter came early for that girl
When the unreturning brother –
The endlessly prevented youth –
Was thrown first in a ditch
And then a grave.

She was the Winter’s girl,
Wearing its icy dress,
So when she saw one parent
Smash the other’s face into a wall
She wasn’t fazed. She understood how well
The rounded skull fits to the palm;
How deep the need to make pain visible since he
Had been hooded when they tortured him.

But she − to Mammy and Daddy both −
She had become
As faint as frost on glass.
Then even the mirrors emptied.

A neighbour, meaning to be kind,
Had asked her to help him set December bulbs,
Late possibilities. She’d cupped a Winter White,
A cranium, papery-skinned and primed,
But when his back was turned
She’d plunged the bulb in upside down,
Cursing it to torment itself
In growing towards the dark.

Since she was a murderer too
She sentenced herself to drink till she was sick
On school-nights out beyond the playing fields.
Thirteen,
And only the cold would do.

But a long dormancy
Can keep something alive.
Forty years on, even the Winter tired
Of cold. It dis-adopted her,
Heading for Spring
When she shouldered her dying mother
And felt how well that heavy head
Fitted the hollow below her collar-bone,
In that embrace sensing
A possibility, though late.

 

Image: Claire Loader

3 Poems for Christmas 2018

CHRISTMAS

The smallest words mean the most

            Joy

            Hope

            Love

These things

Not things

May you receive them all

            A star              of particular promise

            A light             that has sought and found you

            The child         of your heart

Arrived

Waiting beyond the door.      

NADOLIG

Nos

Seren

Addewid

Cyflawniad

Twyllwch yn llawn lleisiau

Diwedd unigrwydd.

                        Christmas

Night

A star

A promise

A fulfilment

Darkness full of voices

An end to loneliness

CHRISTMAS STARS

The stars, a rowdy, cheerful crowd,

Ran to their places, prompt to the call,

And how they sing! since then,

A nightly choir.

Only the comets − their slow tears −

Betray the sorrow underneath that steadfastness,

For haven’t they seen it all?

− what we do down here,

Warping the darkness that they love

Into sly coverts for our filthiness.

Poor stars. Don’t grudge them their reprieve

Each year, when their paragon,

Their Star of stars, leader of kings,

Sets out once more and triumphs,

Finds his place, finding the child,

Perfect as every new-born.

Here! the Star declares to each of us,

Surely you see – surely – that you

Are a Child Awaited, you

Arrived − naked and loved − and you,

Gift-bearer of nothing,

Can stoop under this lintel,

Step clean through the needle’s eye.

3 poems by Angela Graham 2018

Story Nominated for the Pushcart Prize

My story, ‘All Through The Night’ has been nominated by its publisher, Crannóg for the Pushcart Prize, ‘the most honoured literary project in America’.

The story is available to read here.

It was completed during the period of my Literature Wales Bursary 2017. It is part of my unpublished collection, ‘A City Burning’ which was edited by Gwen Davies of the New Welsh Review.

Congratulations to my fellow prose nominees, David Butler and Emily Woodworth and to poets, stephanie roberts, Jane Burn and Ruth Thompson.

Poem in Infinite Rust – Fall Issue

I’m delighted to have my poem Admission, on leaving the Port of Belfast, 1988 accepted for the Fall issue of Infinite Rust, Texas Southern University’s quarterly journal of Literary and Visual Arts.

The theme of the issue, due online on 28th October, is HOME: perspectives or interpretation relating to ideas such as the meaning of home, immigration, marginalization, nationalism, ownership, comfort, security, displacement, boundaries, and identity.