INDIGO DREAMS PUBLISHING LTD
138 x 216mm
£10.00 + P&P UK
THIRD PLACE Poetry Book Awards 2021
Bān-hūs; 'a charnel house; the human body'. 'Bone House' explores our physical relationship not only with the earth, but with what lies beneath it; that 'shamble of rubble and forgotten time' where our history and memories are buried.
As we walk the land we learn to read and interpret it, to listen to its sounds, and re-connect with it through music, language and the ancient words and traditions of the past.
Peel back the ground, delve into rich horizons,
the turf a wiry pelt between your fingers.
Underneath, the tree roots' muscle, smooth skulls
of stone where eyes of soil lie hidden in the hollows.
Dig deeper down; learn that a man once carved
a ladle from a fallen oak, forged an arrow carefully
in the flames, or shouldered forests on his back
to form these splintered timbers into home.
Below these contoured meadows is a midden;
a shamble of rubble and forgotten time,
where delicate gills of flesh petal back
into the living body of the earth
and whitening bones of vole and rabbit
shine like scattered stars among the thistle.
In the field, a kindle of hares, dancing
in tangles of sedge and heather.
A murmur of lacewing in brittle reeds,
the skim of wind on water, ruffling the surface
with its sudden gust. And here, too, the scars
of buried weather, marks of old flood etched
on scarp or heath, our memory hefted
by the river's surge as we are winnowed
from our place, drawn to the litany of landscape
and the long slow dissipate of years.
Kathy Miles was born in Liverpool and now lives in West Wales.
Her third poetry collection, 'Gardening with Deer', was published by Cinnamon Press in 2016, and a pamphlet, 'Inside the Animal House', by Rack Press in 2018. Her poetry appears widely in magazines and anthologies, and she is a previous winner of the Second Light, Welsh Poetry and Wells Festival competitions, as well as the Bridport Prize.
A co-editor of 'The Lampeter Review', Kathy is a frequent reader at literary events.
The Bone Merchant
Weekly he came, louche as a sin-eater,
his tongue loose with the scavenge of gossip
and rags. His mare fractious at the harness,
easing herself out of her ancient frame.
At his call, our mothers flocked from doors,
arms full of tattered clothes, the rattle of tin,
chipped pots, a chine of Sunday roast.
He piled these meagre wages on the cart,
clopped off across the cobbles. I imagined him
coming to collect our ribs, patellas,
shoulder-blades, siphoning off our marrow
as we slept. Shaping them to clones of us,
who'd walk round in their borrowed skeletons,
a dream of rag-and-bone men in their eyes.