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A SLITHER OF AIR

Alison grew up in Devon and misses the sea, the beaches and the milder climate but she has grown to love the Yorkshire Pennines that have been home to her and her family over the last twenty years.

 

Her poetry has won prizes, commendations or honourable mentions in the Virginia Warbey Competition, the Nottingham Open Poetry Competition and in the collection and single poem categories of The New Writer 2010 Prose and Poetry Prize.  Her poems have been published in several magazines and anthologies including Reach Poetry, Dawntreader, Indigo Dreams Crab Lines Off The Pier Summer Anthology, Visible Breath and the Soul Feathers Macmillan anthology.

 

Although her first love is poetry she also writes short stories and several have been chosen for publication.  In 2010 she was Highly Commended for two stories in the Royal Hyde Theatre Competition and more recently has gained success in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly.

 

She has an MA in Literature Studies and specialized in Creative Writing.  

 

 http://alisonlock.webs.com/

 

 

A Slither Of Air

 

Alison Lock

 

ISBN 978-1-907401-43-5

 

80 pages

 

£7.99

 

 

 

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Kandahar

 

 

A boy finds a fallen star

 

from a pocket of treasures

his hand reaches out

 

pulls the loop that is trip-wired

to a hurricane, it lifts him high  

 

higher to a crescent of incandescence

then down he flitters in a shower

 

of pomegranate seeds seeping the ground

sweet red, dark red, black red.

 

Now there is light, swinging bright

he waves back with a bound stub

 

as if reaching for a moonbeam.

 

 

 

 

 

At The Mela

 

 

 

Bhaji, bhangra, bollywood, hip hop

segments of whole sugar cane.

I am pulled from stall to stall

by buds of colour and taste.

 

I look down at my cherub

my hand on the string

of his red balloon. But here

is a flat jellyfish the size of his fist.

The moment folds, crushing

seconds into micro seconds,

long enough to be seared,

cleaved from heart to bowel.

 

His curls flash and surf the crowd.

I hear the sound of a thrush

in the bush whose warbled tune

puts suspicion in my mind.

I scream but the rhythm

of the base beat mutes me.

I flick an index of faces

Have you, have you, have you seen?

 

Then he appears just there

with his toffee-like grin

that I want to smash

and squash and shake

I love him so much.

Alison Lock’s first collection of poetry is A Slither of Air. She was a winner of the 2010 Indigo Dreams Poetry Collection Competition.

 

'Like a gentle voice in your ear, these poems speak of love and life and pain and war with words so precisely-chosen they will make you tremble. A wonderful collection.'                                                     Laura Sheridan

 

‘I found myself holding my breath as the fresh, delicious images in this poetry caressed my senses. Everything one hopes for in poetry is delivered in memorable abundance.’                                                Joanne Klassen

 

A Slither Of Air

 

 

 

We speak

through a slither of air

gulls hover

bringing your ocean to me

filling the deep well of my living

room.  I see the beach where

your breath is fearless and

 

over my shoulder

a memory of you running blind

brakes screeching

like the sea birds now.

 

My heart beat then

and later to a rhythm that defined you.

 

Now your feet sink into the sand as

you press the text

of your life

into my uncoiled

ear.

 

On Harris

 

Rain, Hebrides

 

under the Atlantic ruff

dog rose on the rocks

blowing beyond the watermark

soft peat, beach of shells

tiny as stitchwort

crisp underfoot, duneland

threaded with marram

pastureland daisies, campion

eyebright

where the waders breed

a lapwing, a crackling corncrake

a pewit on the machair.

 

As butting sheep rip the land

a black char scours the bones

a redshank shims its call

and the sky answers

in blue vapour that falls

upon a stained glass sea, cut

 

by a single boat.

 

 

 

 

 

Where the Cinnabar Moth...

(extract)  

 

 

 

Pluvial mists seep and snake

into rivulets that conspire

and steep beyond dew point.

 

Sheep fleeced of their coats

graze and scour

the sponge acidic earth

where apprentices to beavers

weave sticks and shuttle stones

with an ancient instinct.

 

In the stream a swatch of wool

bleeds a streak of scarlet dye

as it puddles, it spins cumulus pink.

 

Skeins and scraps of shapeless vats

litter the hard set concrete

corrugations of asbestos

protrude green shoots

from a patchwork of pits

trapped beneath the brambles.

 

Sudden death slopes in a gully

of discarded cans and quick-love

condoms where the innocent

sorrel and primrose breed

quince and crabapple

flaunt their luminous wares.

 

A damselfly hovers a stream

blooming with chemicals

aniline and rosaniline mixed

with iodides turns sapphire

to indigo, as yet unmatched

by the blue jay’s plume.

9781907401435 DSC_0063

Stone, Water, Air, Fire, Peace

 

 

 

I see a pebble at the bottom of a stream.

The water is unaware of a rock

in its buffeting brook, the stone

is an island, a meditation,

untroubled by each gurgle

and the water’s feathered touch

merely varnishes the stone’s resilience.

Here is peace in the heart of a stone.

 

The lake is deep and clear, stilled

until a bird dips briefly in

to power its upward flight.  

A wing drips droplets across a mirror

sending spiralled waves, that wheel

and wheel in fading ripple ends.  

Circles overlap until replete

the sheen returns. One tranquil surface.  

 

In the trees the wind catches leaves

waving their green in semaphore

to no-one in particular

caressing each leaf until it dives

to snatch mist from the mouths of strangers

taking the clouds of living breath

to a place where waves are lulled

under a plateau of softly spoken air.

 

When the night is still I hear a crackle

magic wands in their first heat.

A show of palm hands to the flames

consuming within stone bounds.

Burn, cleanse, flame by flame,

fire into wood into charcoal

returned to carbon Earth.

By morning there is a strange black peace.

DSC_0087bw 3-72

The cover of A Slither of Air is a da Vinci eye Award Finalist