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THE STONE MESSENGER

Eileen Carney Hulme was born in Edinburgh and has lived and worked in many parts of the UK and in Europe as a library assistant and a tutor and practitioner of complementary therapies. She has spent the last ten years living in the North of Scotland enjoying the big skies and deserted beaches.

 

Her first collection of poems Stroking The Air was published by Bluechrome of Bristol in 2005 and her second collection The Space Between Rain was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing in 2010.

Both collections were named in The Purple Patch Small Press Best Collections Awards in 2005 and 2010.

 

Her poems have appeared in poetry magazines, anthologies and internet poetry websites including Acumen, Envoi, Ink Sweat and Tears, Northwords Now, Reach Poetry, Sarasvati and The Dawntreader. She has won several prizes and been placed or highly commended in many competitions including; The Baker Prize, The Federation of Writers Scotland (winner 2015) The Scottish Association of Writers Poetry Competition, Write up North (winner 2014) The Annual Craigmillar Poetry Competition (winner 2013), The Sentinel Quarterly Poetry Competitions, The Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition,  The City Of Derby Short Story and Poetry Competition, Coffee House Poetry Competition, Eye of Life Competition USA, Hastings International Poetry Competition, Partners Annual Poetry Competition, Indigo Dreams Press Poetry Awards, The Sheila Nugent Awards and The Dawntreader Awards.

 

She had a poem set to music and performed at The Cork International Choral Festival, was commissioned by Clontarf Castle Hotel, Dublin, to write a poem for their wedding brochure and has two poems transcribed on to wall space in The Nicholson Art Gallery in Forres, as a permanent feature, She was also their first Poet in Residence running various poetry events. Scottish textile artist, Margaret Meldrum of Findhorn, is currently creating a body of work inspired by Eileen’s poems for exhibitions in 2015.  Poet Jon Plunkett has chosen some lines from Eileen’s poems to be carved into large stone and set along The Corbenic Poetry Path in Perthshire.

 

 

 

Eileen Carney Hulme

 

The Stone Messenger

 

ISBN 978-1-909357-86-0

 

Indigo Dreams Publishing

 

Poetry

 

138 x 216mm

 

64 pages

 

£7.99 + P&P UK

 

PUB: August 2015

 

 

ORDER HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stone Messenger

 

Summer, outside the Nature Sanctuary

its roof stilled by heather, grass and moss

 

Inside the moon on stone floor

maps each journey

 

A warm breeze tracks the foxgloves

pulse of bees, dance of butterflies

 

Memories are folded into this building

meditation and songs, secrets of lovers

 

I stay for a while, listen,

the words keep coming back.

 

 

 

Sarajevo Springtime

 

Dandelion clocks message the air

and beyond the pink wall

voices are lifting away

Sun is high over the Igman Mountain

tractors plough

soil turns

 

Crows meddle

blossoms scatter

and it’s easy to forget

 

Until my eyes drift, blink

at bullet-peppered walls

clusters of gravestones –

 

the backdrop to every season.

 

 

 

Walking with Ghosts                        

 

They see me on my own

and think they will tag along

I am fine with it, really,

especially my parents.

Father no longer able

to hoist me onto his shoulder

content to stroll

and talk about the weather.

Mother looking like Lauren Bacall

tells me I can still be sexy at sixty.

Aunt Margaret bringing the family together

the crazy kitchen disasters,

I sympathise with each recipe gone wrong.

Friends come and go

as time allows, always busy

so much still to do,

offering opinions on everything

from the colour of my hair

to my love of chocolate cake.

These are the sounds

of my heart,

the keys that turn the locks

of passing years, the snatch

of voices on a path

in the quiet of my shadowland.

 

 

 

This is how it was

 

You told me your name

I told you mine

we touched hands

and everything else

is just rain

or the spaces between rain

how we measured

seasons by angles

how we talked

like pebbles in motion

how we smelled

of the sea and each other

and how in the night

that was quiet with blue

or the memory of blue

you promised me sky

nothing more, nothing less.

 

 

 

Thinking of my Mother as Lauren Bacall

 

Perhaps it was ‘The Look’

or how often you said

you loved Humphrey Bogart,

the pin-curled set, a hairstyle

that withstood winds on Dunoon Pier,

a daytrip with your friend Jenny,

fashioned in fur-trimmed camel coats

bringing Hollywood glamour

to an order of fish and chips.

Free to be post-war, out of uniform,

to be bold, lipsticked, to light

up a cigarette, laugh with young men

who thought they were Humphrey Bogart,

who dreamed of kissing you

in late night shop-front doorways,

sheltered from memories,

their bones grim, hollow

like mirroring ghosts

watching from windows,

while relentless stars

echo variations in time.

 

 

 

How a Stone Melts

 

Now when I dig in my pockets

there is only loose change

or worse a hole

where stars fall through

 

And if I think I can still

taste you, that last taste of summer

strung to my bones –

it hurriedly unfastens itself

 

My pain is ten years worn

ten years bled

I slip another stone into my heart –

stones were your talisman.

 

 

 

The way I learned to tell the time

 

After school, climbing on to your bed

holding the small mantelpiece clock

with its reassuring tick, cuddling up

to wasting muscles, thinning bones.

You pointed to twelve, three, six

and nine, I learned of halves and quarters

to and past. Everything measured, medication,

meals, a daughter’s repetition, and you –

horologist, amateur astronomer, tidal

locked, seeking the far side of the moon

 

 

 

 

 

Eileen Carney Hulme’s poems are intimate, precise and assured at locating the places where love, and other emotions, make themselves felt. There is sharpness, economy and exactness in the writing, a freshness and immediacy that draws you into her world.

 

 

 

“Scottish poets have written about how the best poems can sometimes be elegies and love poems at the same time, and I feel Eileen Carney Hulme has achieved this in her latest collection. Her work is marked by a deftness of touch and an eye for haunting, resonant images. These poems are often elemental and lashed with rain, buffeted by strong winds, but Carney Hulme's lyrical voice withstands such weather.”

Richie McCaffery

 

“Having read Eileen’s earlier books, I looked forward eagerly to this new collection of poems. They begin rooted in family, and move sensitively outward. There’s a tenderness here, an assured humanity, an acceptance of loss, the knowledge of how to keep going, the strength of love, and how to play lightly with stones, bones, buttons and the colour blue.”

Colin Will

 

“Eileen Carney Hulme is a magician, producing the universal from the everyday with remarkable sleight-of-hand. Her images have the sharpness of a child's vision, overlaid by a lifetime's understanding. No-one who has known love, grief or innocence will fail to find themselves in her poems.”

Ellen McAteer

 

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