INDIGO DREAMS

PUBLISHING LTD

 

SALT ROAD

 

UK Writer Geraldine Green’s first collection, The Skin, was published 2003, Passio 2006, (Flarestack Publications), Poems of a Molecatcher’s Daughter (Palores Publications) 2009, and The Other Side of the Bridge (Indigo Dreams Publishing) 2012.

 

Widely anthologised, she’s read and been published in the UK, USA, Italy and Greece.

 

Freelance Creative Writing Tutor and Mentor, Associate Editor of Poetry Bay www.poetrybay.com Geraldine is Writer-in-Residence at Swarthmoor Hall, home of George Fox and she lives in Ulverston, Cumbria, UK.

 

 

 

 

Salt Road

 

Geraldine Green

 

ISBN 978-1-909357-28-0

 

Publication 04/10/2013

 

Poetry

 

216 x 138 mm

 

92 pages

 

£8.95 + P&P

 

 

 

ORDER HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

grass-flat

Near Bardsea

 

The bees I hear are the ones that

live in two hives made from wood

over the dry stone wall just down

from where the road drops from Bardsea

village and joins the coast road. They,

one side of the wall and I, the other.

 

I watch them, the bees, as they hum

their way into air into honey, gather the

delicacies of spring, spin their winged

bee-sunned bodies into nectar.

 

Below the earth worms grow rich and fat

on composting bodies - the badger I saw

last October, shot-down crow, wounded

rabbit its glazed eyes gazing up

to the sun, pulled

 

into darkness by beetles and worms, then,

through nature’s slow, alchemical rhythm

turn into light, become the nettles that hide

the hives, become the nettles that throw

green pollen.

 

I watch them, the bees, coming and going -

their louvred wooden boxes; one with a blue

lid, the other unpainted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to write this down

 

the seagulls the tide full and returning

the noise the cries, purple-pink light

sun rising, bruised sky, air lifting.

 

I have to write this down

the air and sea the palms outstretched, open

holding the moment

the past, the future and

what is to come

the thankfulness of ocean, ebb tide flowing

seagulls' cries, air, sun, purple –

pink light, bruised sky

 

an opening now clear and opal

open palms facing the dawn cupped palms

cradling in one palm the moment in the other

a poem, together open

praising the day.

 

“Geraldine Green's Salt Roads travel far – from Skye to New Mexico – but they return her to Cumbria and to the deep seams of memory. However, the “urge to journey” is a recurrent theme. Green is a poet who takes the world as her home and responds to all that animates it. This is what shows most powerfully the influence of Native American poetry and thought on her work – and indeed on the way she lives her life. The “shape of washing” can move her as much as the flight of a bird. This is a fearless collection – the forms she chooses pulse with instinctual life and all the pieces, be they poems, prose poems or “jottings”, carry a delight in life's riches.”

Tom Pow

 

"The world of ‘Salt Road’ is fresh and immediate, filled with reverence for land and language: from Cumbrian homelands to the plains of Kansas, from a shrimper’s tractor on Morecambe sands to New Mexico and beyond, this collection of poetry and prose sings with the accents, dialects and colloquialisms of the forebears who helped brew this poetic mix, rich as the poteen from an uncle’s kitchen. You feel you are walking with the poet along her shores and hills, following her clear-eyed gaze ‘in the rough wet nose of the lonely wind’, feeling the wild joy of the world in poems  both big-hearted and alive.”

Pippa Little

 

Turning Turtle

 

I startled the lark. Perhaps I was walking

too fast, or the sudden arm movement

as I lifted the ball-on-a-rope for my dog,

disturbed the air, swung the lark up on

its cry as it carried itself skywards, its song

settled from surprise to what sounded like

scolding. That was at the end of my ramble.

I parked the car, strode past the bent by

the wind blown hawthorn, its thin, stunted

branches pointed north and I followed,

folding myself around the contours of

sheep tracks through low growing gorse.

Vicious, if you have to retrieve a ball

from its centre.

 

Today it was me and the wind,

couples, singles, families, dogs, kites and

the occasional phlegmatic sheep.

I sat on a limestone rock, watched waves

nibble at the shore of Chapel Island, chatted

with a couple and their blonde haired daughter,

afraid of Roy until her father threw the roped ball

and she grew braver. They wandered off,

laughing, towards the stone circle, soon to be

decorated with pumpkins, chrysanths and candles.

 

The Bay, a dazzle of waves, even at this distance -

I could hear them mumbling to pebbles and marram,

down there on the beach at Bardsea where, as a child,

I once ducked as dad warned the family, 'Bees!'

And a dense, fast cloak of them swarmed over

our heads as we lay flat on our picnic blanket.

 

Sometimes we would play in the gulleys,

turned turtle by a sudden slap of wave,

happy among cockles and the smell of salt mud.

I can still feel it dried and grey between my toes,

scraping it off before pulling on plimsolls,

heading home with a bag of shells

and a bunch of memories to give dad

when he came in from work at the Strep. Plant,

Glaxo, smelling of pear drops and acid.

 

 

Fast and Loose

 

Spring today came fast and loose on the back of a fog that lingered this morning, but that's ok as day unfolded in golden spring sunlight that spent itself out in turquoise and silver as light exploded over the common this evening as I walked my dog near Sunbrick, Birkrigg.

 

 

Woods in the Fog

 

Priory woods were loud with a pair of woodpeckers in the oak trees today. A flock of oystercatchers' wings a muffled boom as they rose in startled flight. No sign of Chapel Island. Fog heightened my senses.

Salt Road into the Bay

 

Late afternoon, I walk

alongside the mud flats

of Morecambe Bay –

            the bay            

the flats

the tide that swings

its way in & out –

different. Different.

 

I walk out into wind,

salt & flat-caked mud

baked white in the sun,

tread among samphire,

spiked as yet unplumped

shoots of bright green

small pockets of prayer

parcels of ozone and ask:

are you really samphire,

that bright jewel of

Shakespeare?

Picked, plucked,

remembered from Lear?

 

And into the salt and the sea

and into the tide & the flats

I follow the footprints: trainers,

knobbled patterns in salt,

horse's hooves

branding sky

into flesh,

salt into sand,

me into them,

us into us all.

A caterpillar tyre

a shrimper’s tractor

curving round & out –

I curve like that

eating samphire

as if I'm its juice

as if I'm its flesh

as if I'm crushed  

into samphire green

I pause.

take breath

take in the sweep and sway

before the next wash of tide.

 

 

 

Clear as a bell

 

this morning

mist lifting

over Cartmel fells.

 

Two people

swam at Roanhead

yesterday.

 

Scafell, Coniston, Esk Hause

so close I could

reach across this estuary

 

and stroke them.

 

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