GEOFF STEVENS MEMORIAL POETRY PRIZE 2018 IS NOW OPEN
Chris Hardy lives in London and has also lived, and travelled, in East Africa, Asia, and Europe – especially Greece and Italy. His poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies. Some have won prizes, for example in the National Poetry Society’s, London Writers’ and other poetry competitions.
His third collection was published by Graft Poetry.
'An intensely enjoyable collection' (John Lucas); 'I found wonders in many of Hardy’s lines' (Anne Stevenson). www.graftpoetry.co.uk
Chris is also a musician: a CD of acoustic music, ‘Health To Your Hands’ is available from cdbaby.com 'You can easily imagine his name being mentioned in the same sentence as John Renbourn or Eric Anderson … well worth checking out.' (Guitar Magazine).
'The picking is glorious and the songwriting excellent.'
He is in LiTTLe MACHiNe www.little-machine.com performing their settings of well known poems. They have appeared with the poet laureate, Gillian Clarke, Liz Lochhead, John Cooper-Clark, Roger McGough and other poets and are busy at literary events across the country -
'It’s my great privilege to be the warm-up act for LiTTLe MACHiNe, most brilliant music and poetry band in the world.' Carol Ann Duffy.
138 x 216mm
£8.99 + P&P UK
Cover / author photo Martha Hardy
This is a collection of poems about how fate is what happens and how what happens to us is fate: how we find ourselves looking at the sea from a mountain and knowing for a second that this is all there is - we came from nowhere and are going nowhere .. and promptly forget what we know.
‘Bird nesting in mailbox. Rat scrabbling in wall. Spring uncoiling and a welcoming harbour.
A guitarist as well as a poet Chris Hardy consistently hits the right note, never hits
a false note.’
‘The acute poems of this wonderfully named fourth collection are always clear, sometimes rueful. Amongst wars and rissoles, they cherish their ghosts. Past and present are summoned by memorable lines with strength and tenderness.’ Alison Brackenbury
‘These poems explore Time, from the tender appreciation of new life, through all its vicissitudes, to death. Time alters, enhances, destroys. ‘I’m done with time’ says the poet.
But only Time is present: these poems deserve to be read slowly, to appreciate the many
and varied nuances which lead to the comprehension of the Now.’
Sunshine at the end
of the world
Sunshine at the end of the world
In the Moravian graveyard
the dead stand up,
cold, mud-clamped sentries
knee-deep in the water table.
Daisies spreading across
Spring grass touch
the square stone lids.
Better to be thrown in the sea
with a lump of lead.
Then the flowers that follow,
the small white blossoms
I’d ask for,
would from far below
her mother at the cooker
Down Dog Lane
in the corner
of the air-raid shelter.
in the hills,
and try to
scare us back
into the light
before we can
The city sprawls along the shore
like a beach of stones
and crawls up the hills
searching for cool air.
I lean over the rail
of the ferry,
anxious not to let
my father’s watch,
on my wrist now,
fall into the water,
though if it also took
the thing coiled inside it
to the bottom of the sea
I would feel differently.
Lying on your side, unsmiling, calm,
the shawl up to your chin.
You have come down in the dark
from a globe of water,
slick blue fish suddenly small
red ape, anemone fingers.
While I remember how we all got here
and wonder what might happen next
you watch the evening light upon the wall,
feel a touch where your skull breathes.
Through the window and the door
the world is there, just over there.
Soon each moment will spread before
and behind you like the sea, but now
all there is for you is your
immortal, unopened, second.
The bird has flown
When we returned after many weeks
I opened the mailbox and found the post
piled round and even on
a small bird nesting inside.
Your letters, that lay about her,
had wings too.
Tonight the wind blows the sea
upriver into the city
and I remember you, there
at the end of a page.
Sweet life, left easily behind,
like a letter, signed and posted,
then you turn away
and go back home.
Behind closed doors
A rat scrabbling inside the cavity wall
behind the chair you sat in made you start
eyes wide towards me in surprise
almost reaching where I stood.
At night we locked the kitchen door,
where I’d rammed the broom handle
in the hole they’d eaten through the floor.
We listened to them grinding at the pole,
aware they knew they’d never starve,
would break out from their pits and voids
through damp green lino glued to boards,
and lay apart white-breathed beneath
piled blankets as the tireless gnawing
crawled upstairs and into bed between us.