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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

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 It is part of my unpublished collection, ‘A City Burning’ which was edited by Gwen Davies of the New Welsh Review.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.

My work / Fy ngwaith: 2018/19

TelevisionBBC 4 The Story of Wales Repeat Screening Tuesdays from 6th November, 8pm, 6 x 60 mins. 2 BAFTA Cymru Awards – Best Presenter: Huw Edwards. Gwyn A Williams Award: Outstanding Contribution to History Programming

My blog is selected by National Library of Wales to join the UK Web Archive “a cross section of UK Web logs containing a wealth of material which will be of value to researchers now and in the future”

A City Burning, a collection of 24 short stories, set in Wales, Northern Ireland and Italy. To be published 2020 by Seren Books. Completed with the support of a Writer’s Bursary, 2017 from Literature Wales and The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Wales. Continue reading My work / Fy ngwaith: 2018/19

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.