INDIGO DREAMS

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Kathleen Jones has been described by Carol Ann Duffy as ‘a powerful female voice’.

 

Her pamphlet, Unwritten Lives, won the Redbeck Press Award and her first full collection,  Not Saying Goodbye at Gate 21, was joint winner of the Straid Award in 2012. Another prize-winning pamphlet, Mapping Emily, was published in 2017.  

 

Kathleen is also a novelist and biographer - her work includes  A Passionate Sisterhood [Virago], a group biography of the sisters, wives and daughters of Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey.

 

She has taught creative writing in universities and is currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow.  

 

Kathleen lives in Cumbria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry

 

138 x 216mm

 

86 pages

 

£9.99 + P&P UK

 

ISBN 978-1-910834-61-9

 

PUB:  SEPTEMBER 2017

 

 

ORDER HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Rainmaker was a shaman in indigenous cultures: in the 21st century a Rainmaker is a financial wizard, making money for businesses. The poems in this collection record the distance we have travelled from a world where human beings were seen as part of a precariously balanced eco-system, and contemporary corporate culture which sees the environment as a resource to be exploited.  The poems deal with the constant pull between our instinctive, spiritual selves and the practical, scientific and economic realities of the everyday.

 

Many of the poems were written on a journey to the remote Pacific islands of Haida Gwaii where the Haida Nation are at the forefront of environmental activism in British Columbia, others from travels to Russia, New Zealand and the Middle East.

 

 

******

“Kathleen Jones reflects on so many of the questions we should be asking about our planet and how we live on it.”

Avril Joy

Costa Award-winning novelist.

 

 

Kathleen Jones

 

The Rainmaker's Wife

 

 

The Rainmaker's Wife

 

Naked in the dry hull

of our marriage-bed

we hold to our separate weather.

 

He is the element of water

I of fire.  The old paradox.

 

I am ungentle, sudden, electric,

a lightning bolt, a super nova

in the darkness of far space.

 

He spends time in the garden measuring

precipitation and talking to clouds.

 

Not in favour of ritual dancing,

or invocations, he prefers dry ice and crystals

of silver iodide and salt.  Seeding the sky

 

to make tadpoles of electric rain wriggle

across the window pane.

 

I love the rhythm the rain makes

on the roof when I wake in the night,

and every green thing it brings.

 

But not its cold drench, the shivering

misery of the damp, the hiss and suck

of the north sea in January.

 

There is something disturbing about

the blind surface of deep water,

the drag of its tides and currents.

 

I refuse to go down into it like a diver,

frog-legged, breathing gas.

 

But when he touches my skin, with a cool hand,

our fatal chemistry could vaporise an ocean.

We are each other’s counterpoint,

 

both there at the beginning, the light shining

on dark water, and in the dark he moves

inside me, swimming gently, towards the light.

 

 

The Myth House

 

“The hardest part of anything

is the beginning…”

 

but the Raven stole the script

from the Beaver.  First, four

redwoods at the corners

and one, taller, for

the house pole, shaved

with blades of basalt

shaping the lineage of Blue

Heron, Dogfish Woman and

the round eye of the Bear.

 

The mouth of the house must speak to the sea

the rear exit to the mountain, and the smoke hole

is where we have a conversation with immortals

constellations of words going up in tobacco smoke.

 

And Raven-side and Eagle-side perch together

under a roof of bark and branches

weighted with rocks against the constant

wind blowing over the cedars like surf

breaking on the surface of the ocean.

The Year Zero

 

It was the year there was no summer

when winter drizzled and froze

through a reluctant spring

into a cloud-shrouded August

snowdrops in April and

February Fill-dyke in July.

We had no name for these new seasons

or the year that refused to turn

in its old rhythms.

 

It was the year that our mythologies lost

meaning and the oracles were dumb.

Hawberries glutted the warm winter

red skies at night brought only storm.

We had no signs to warn us of the plague-

beetle in the bark, no animal or bird

to augur the weirding weather –  

geese stopped migrating and

the swallows stayed.

 

It was the year we found that we no longer

spoke the language of the land.  The year

science had no answer to the big question.

The year we knew we needed a new story

to tell us how to live.

 

 

Bran the Blessed

 

The Raven, a celt this time,

has no intention of going straight.

Bran the Blessed is his hot pick

for power.  Raven and his clan –  

avenging the dark-haired sea-god’s

daughter – swarm into battle croaking

doom for the less well connected.

 

Raven’s the message, Raven’s the new cool,

‘You will have me less if you want me more’

 

Raven is the Next Big Thing.

Any excuse for a good slaughter.

Bran uses his cauldron to cook up

the dead and then weave them back

into the thread of the story –

You can’t keep a good Raven down!

 

It will end with a trick – and no one knows

his exit line, or the direction he’ll take.  

 

 

Skinny Dipping at Isola Santa

 

The lake is the blue green of glacial melt-

water, the mountain, upside-down

on its wrinkled skin, rocked by

our naked plunge.  

                                           The fish fry,

little cannibals, nibble my toes

and arms trawl  bracelets of weed.

Deeper in, millenniums of dark water

plummet under the blue mayflies darting

electric above its liquid ecology.  I feel

the tug of invisible vectors, the chill

of ancient ice.  

                                           Skin to skin,

I am fish, trailing weed, a floating leaf,

a sleek apostrophe curving through

the sun’s piercings at the innocent surface.

 

KathleenJonesAmend 9781910834619