WILD NATURE POETRY AWARD competition now open.

Dawn Bauling was born in Sheffield but now lives in Devon. She is an English graduate and after a varied career as a Knitter, Florist, Youth Worker and Librarian, is currently Editor of poetry and prose magazines The Dawntreader and Sarasvati, Co-director of Indigo Dreams Publishing Ltd and also works part-time as a Medical Administrator at Holsworthy Medical Centre.


Dawn has won several poetry awards including the Bedfordshire Prize and the Joyce Searle Prize for Poetry and been published in many magazines.


Her first  collection, Loud Voices In The Quiet Child, was published in 2008.


Dawn is the proud owner of one collie, one ex-hippy poet, two grown children, half an acre of forest and a Corsa called Pip.






Dawn Bauling


ISBN 978-1-909357-04-4


Indigo Dreams Publishing


Publication 22/05/2014




138 x 216 mm


82 pages


















River Exe mussels with chilli, tomato and parsley


The foreplay is with warm bread and olive oil:

you dripped,

I licked my lips like a cat.

Then the mussels arrive

with just-opened steam

and a light dandruff of parsley.

You drool slightly

before choosing, teasing

the dark, hard lips

to reveal a first soft pearl.

You suck its sweetness

leaving a light aftermath

of garlic.


The Exe has done its work well.


I cross my legs

as you pluck and prick

with your perfect poet’s fingers,

slipping them between

teeth and tongue tip

dipping into the oil slick

finger-bowl –

in out, out in, dripping

frivolity, not necessity.


O lucky bowl.

O lucky tongue.


You will spoon the juice slowly

saying the spice is just right

the flavours lingering:

“Just hot enough.”

If only he knew.


We refuse dessert.



Dry Stick


Under each dry stick

a bud may form

if the quick scald of fire

releases it.


You thought I had no life

within. Such foolery.

I was a red fire lily

dancing on a bright wind

who would leave

pollen on your trousers,

for the want of a match.





"Dawn Bauling is a poet of rare lyricism and careful observation. She has an original eye for the particular and her poems explode with great joy. The keynote of her new collection is love  - love of her man, children, landscape and dog. She approaches each poem like a gift she has just opened with wide-eyed wonder and the joy of being alive."  

Chrys Salt


"This is one of those great finds: Shippen, unfolding inwards from ‘Field’ to ‘Gate’ to ‘Hearth’ to ‘Loft’, is a collection of quiet love poems, carefully wrought, original and unsentimental, that are so rooted in place that they are love poems for the world."  

Roselle Angwin

DSCF0067 dawn 001

Read Ink, Sweat and Tears fantastic review here:

SHIPPEN by Dawn Bauling





Henna On Her Hands


She will wear her lemon chiffon sari

with an ochre blouse and petticoat.

She will walk barefoot,

letting whispers of silk kiss her ankles.

Bells sing in a late sunlight.


She will tread over sandalwood

and jasmine to the old women

to have henna painted on her palms,

on white porcelain feet, as a blessing.

They will fuss her paleness.


In the baked red kitchen clay

they unveil a secrecy, a pattern,

stitching it with paste vines, leaves,

earth flowers until roots stick,

until she breathes the ancient.


They talk with women words

blushing the room in an innocence

whilst she washes  in herbs, anoints herself

with oil from a cracked jar,

playing with another’s skin.


Bracelets sing on busy wrists

and, happy with her hidden sister, Daxia

gives a small vermillion bindi

for her head, as a seal, a sign, an eye

for the nine day dance.



Then let us take the garba pot

and spin each other’s skirts

around a wheel, an earth, finding

that difficult, delicate rhythm.

We hold each other in the round


wearing one another;

none so very different.