INDIGO DREAMS

PUBLISHING LTD

 

Hannah Brockbank is joint winner of the 2016 Kate Betts Award.

 

Publications featuring her work include Hallelujah for 50ft Women Anthology (Bloodaxe), A Way through the Woods Anthology (Binsted Arts), Full Moon & Foxglove Anthology (Three Drops Press), The London Magazine, Envoi, and When Women Waken Journal.

 

Her poems also featured in the Chalk Poets Anthology as part of the 2016 Winchester Poetry Festival.

 

She has also written feature essays for Thresholds International Short Story Forum.

 

Hannah is currently studying for a Ph.D. in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry

 

138 x 216mm

 

34 pages

 

£6.00 + P&P UK

 

ISBN 978-1-910834-64-0

 

PUB: 8th December 2017

 

 

ORDER HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through a linked sequence of poems, Bloodlines gives witness to a woman’s struggle to find connection with an absent father. Encompassing themes of biological inheritance and cultural disinheritance, the poems are compellingly intense. Rooted in landscape, the language is elemental, coursing through a series of imaginary encounters and moments of clarity.

 

*****

‘Brockbank makes concrete the absence of a father she’s never known in a series of vividly imagined poetic encounters. The poems are elegant, imagistic and finely tuned to love and loss. Most importantly, her poetry packs an emotional punch that resonates beyond an individual’s story. A wonderful new voice.’

Stephanie Norgate  

 

‘This is a book about an absent father, but its metaphors explore a range of distances, not only those within a family, but also the distances that we have put between ourselves and the natural world. Bloodlines skilfully deploys folklore and history and marks the arrival of a talented poet.’  

David Swann

 

 

 

 

 

Bloodlines

 

Hannah Brockbank

 

 

Myling

 

The Myling girl has been left by her father

in dark woods to die. Her pale hair has grown dull

under the mulch, where shrews burrow and gnaw

at her fingertips, until she rises, changed.

 

Now, she can smell the hot blood of lost men;

stray woodcutters and hunters.

She tracks them down. Picks them off one by one.

Who sees her jump on their backs?

 

They buck and pitch beneath her,

try to discard her again

on impure ground.

She may be dead,

but she won’t forget.

 

She licks sweat off their necks,

clamps blue thighs around their ribs.

She clings to them,

begs for proper burial,

but the weight of her despair

sinks them into the ground.

Their throats choke with dirt.

 

I wonder now,

if I am dead to you,

should I let go, before you pull me under?

 

 

Mylings feature in Scandinavian folk-belief. They are the spirits of unbaptised children abandoned in the wilderness by their relations.

 

 

 

Clinton Cards

 

I don’t know why I’m here. The air

is sweet and tight like the ligature

of strawberry liquorice lace tied

around her soft wrist.

Quick! Daddy’s coming!

Her cool arm brushes past me.

She lifts a pastel card

from the rack to her chest,

presses its paper-thin sentiment

to her heart, floats down

the aisle and disappears.

I don’t know why I’m here.

 

 

Falconer

 

After a long search, I caught sight of you

circling above me, before you perched

on top of a light pole, out of arm’s reach.

 

You’d survived all this time in the wild;

riddled with parasites, survived mid-air collisions

that sent you tumbling, but when I called, you

 

felt no danger, swooped down on my arm,

my fist-full of diced quail and pulled

at the sinews, released flesh from its bonds.

 

I walked to the mews house, its smooth white walls,

to stop you damaging your feathers,

laid a silver dish of newborn mice at your feet.

 

You let me hood you, shield your quick eyes

with leather blinkers to free you from distraction,

so you’d only see me; only see straight.

 

 

Bloodlines

 

The midwife scans the waiting room,

calls out my married name.

For a beat or two, I don't grasp it;

a name with tangible history,

felt in the knock of my unborn,

a name with heritage, mapped through counties

with traceable routes.

 

Blue veined motorways travel my arm,

amass under the soft hollow of my elbow crook.

Slap, slap-slap, she hits vessels to wake

some unconscious part.

 

She talks genetics.

What about your father’s side? A history of stroke?

Cancer? Problems of the heart?

She slides the point under my skin,

lets my blood spill what it knows,

through a thin steel needle.

 

 

 

Sucker-Punch

 

Before you throw in the towel,

you spend most weekends in the ring,

your ear-splitting fists muffled in mittens

laced over your wrists.

Your arms blur in a flurry of punches

cleaving lips and chins apart,

spattering canvas floors with gobs of blood.

 

You bob, weave, tire too fast,

never notice your opponent’s hips turn,

the rising arc of his heavy brown arm.

A sucker-punch cracks your nose.

 

You squint, blinded by tears,

in front of the changing room mirror.

You plug the bloody fall-out

with twists of paper.

 

You put on a brave face,

before returning home,

the place, that really beats you.

 

 

 

Grave

 

I forget how quickly time passes,

these days. I hurry, decide

to take a short cut through

the estate. Not much has changed;

rainwater still pools in the same place

on the tarmac. I step back

onto the pavement, where as a youth,

I cussed, pushed crisp packets

into the privet; behind it, the flats;

their thick, black pipes shin up

the walls, cling like espalier spurs,

to mark off all the floors

to the top, where once, a man

was clubbed to death

by his woman, who couldn’t

take it anymore. I stop

by the hedge, see something

between the leaves and litter; a grave

the size of a shoe box

amongst the roots. A miniature

rose struggles for light between

the pickets of an ornamental

fence and a cross of ice cream sticks.

I realise, now, that I’m probably too late.

9781910834640 Hannah pic