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Moira Andrew was born and educated in Scotland. She trained and worked as a primary teacher and  became a lecturer in education at Craigie College of Education, Ayr, where she was known as ‘the poetry lady’!

Moira  moved to Bristol to take up a post as Head Teacher of a primary school.  

 

In 1988, she remarried, moved to Cardiff as a full-time writer and poet-in-schools.  Wrote best-selling educational books on creative writing and display for Belair Ltd.  When her husband died she moved to Cornwall, joined the prestigious Falmouth Poetry Group and was their secretary for five years.   She now lives in Somerset with her partner, concentrating on poetry for adults.  She runs a flourishing poetry workshop.  

 

Currently she has 94 books with her name on the cover, ranging from children’s reading books and anthologies to books for teachers and full-length poetry collections – and one novel, aimed at teenagers.

 

Poetry

 

138 x 216mm

 

36 pages

 

£8.99+ P&P UK

 

ISBN 978-1-912876-00-6

 

PUB: 07/01/2019

 

 

ORDER HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geese and Daughters

 

Moira Andrew

 

 

“This outstanding new book of poems shows Moira Andrew at the peak of her poetic powers as she casts an unerring eye over contemporary life, relationships, love (and physical love), and nature.  There is great tenderness here as she speaks with confidence and clarity in poem after poem that seems to materialise magically on the page.  ‘Geese and Daughters’ is a treat, rich in language, easy on the ear, personal – yet filled with shared experience and honed to perfection.”

Wes Magee

 

Seven chairs

(From a drawing by P. Moore ’85)

 

They say

a Cyprus man

needs seven chairs.

 

He sits at ease

arms propped, legs splayed

supremely confident.

 

But he’s just using five,

I say.  You haven’t looked!

So I count once more.

 

Two for his arms,

two for his legs,

one for his backside.

 

Five, I repeat

not knowing a lot

about Cypriot men – then,

 

I see!  He leans his stick

on another chair

and most importantly,

 

places his coffee cup

on the seventh.  No wonder

he looks so smug.

 

 

 

Retail therapy

 

I buy a long silky dress

a mix of muted blues and greens

with a flimsy turquoise top –

enough to rouse the princess

lurking somewhere deep

in trouser-wearing women

like me.  

   Mirrors, a pin number,

easy – unlike my first long frock

(from a London store) where

a woman with a mouthful of pins

fussed over me,  my mother

supervising from a chair

in the corner.

           A slim pink-striped

number it was, with silver threads,

really sophisticated for those days

not long after the war.  

              Eighteen,

a coming out (in its old sense)

a private dance in the Plaza,

(complete with five-piece band)

a black cab, boyfriends,

fizzy wine, Dad in dinner jacket,

me in sugar-pink.

         The new dress

hangs in lonely elegance, waiting

for the saxophone, the muted trumpet

the wake-up kiss.

 

 

 

Telltale touch

 

His sleeping hand

on my thigh

is enough,

 

tells me

everything

I need to know,

 

speaks of trust,

of easy familiarity,

of lazy love-making

 

waiting in the wings.

Poems and songs

 

They say Poems are songs

without the holes …

I fill the gaps, singing

in my sleep, quite forgetting

I can’t sing for toffee.

 

In my head, I’m Piaf,

Ella, a morning blackbird

welcoming the sun –

after all, I know the words

to every jazz standard.

 

So I sing in dreamtime,

darn holes with my poems,

stitch seams in carefully-

chosen phrases, letting

no daylight in, just jazz

 

mostly in Bb, always in tune.

 

 

 

Evening hush

 

The sea draws its nets across the sand,

the sand a bunkhouse for secret creatures.

 

The rocks snuggle down in tippets of weed,

weed slithers and slumps into dreamtime.

 

The sun leans tired elbows on the hills,

the hills slip into wild purple pyjamas.

 

The wind, not ready for bed, tickles treetops,

treetops shrug, birds tuck heads beneath wings.

 

The moon reaches out to light her yellow lamp,

the lamp glows, a feeble flame in feather-grey dusk

 

The darkening clouds loom over lazy rivers,

rivers amble towards a last date with the sea.

 

The night quietens, whispers Sleep well,

and sleep brings its evening hush to the world.

 

 

 

Night swim

 

summer dark

we tip-toe barefoot

across pebbled shingle

gasp at the sea’s

first cool bite

walk into the waves

testing for depth

swim to a raft

anchored, rocking

in the gentle swell

 

treading water

we hold the looped rope

and laugh aloud

at the joy of being alive

bodies outlined

in green beads

of phosphorescence

making a magic mirror

of this long-ago

teenage summer

9781912876006 author amend

Geese and daughters

It’s preferable to raise geese than daughters

(Chinese proverb)

 

Geese?  They strut

around the farmyard

sleek off-white

peering down

on their world from

haughty rooftop eyes.

 

Daughters?  They kiss

you good-night from

wet pink mouths, dance

in your arms to jazz

on the radio, stamp

in red-cheeked fury.

 

They grow up, phone

to tell you stuff,

make sure you’re OK,

bake scones for you,

buy you flowers

for the kitchen table.

 

Give me daughters

any time.  No doubt

geese are all very well

in their way, but

only those few who

lay golden eggs

 

merit a second thought.