GEOFF STEVENS MEMORIAL POETRY PRIZE 2018 IS NOW OPEN
Pauline Hawkesworth is an active poet, with three previous collections, many poems published in magazines and she has had her poetry translated into Romanian.
Her readings include the Poetry Cafe, London , Stanza verses Stanza meetings and Tongues and Grooves.
She has been involved for many years coaching track athletes, particularly sprinters. She is MC at St. Francis Church, Hilsea, Portsmouth. Am secretary to Architect husband.
Pauline is President and Chairperson of Portsmouth Poetry Society.
138 x 216mm
£6.00 + P&P UK
PUB: 6th JANUARY 2017
The poems in ‘Life-Savers On All Sides’ interact with the poet’s surroundings and evoke the mysterious where possible, through nature or the possibilities of peoples’ behaviour.
“In these poems Pauline Hawkesworth leads the reader a dance of the unexpected, where doors may open out of fields, or frozen washing imprison the Early Woman. Sometimes celebratory, often uneasy, these encapsulated moments of observations and imagination find her adept as ever at transfiguring the ordinary.”
“Pauline Hawkesworth’s poems inhabit the twilight zone. They invite the reader to lift up the corners of the everyday, to face the unknown, the spaces between. In one poem the night is heard groaning ‘as daylight rubbed it away,’ in another a woman hanging washing finds herself fighting her way out of an ‘ice walled cell’. These poems transport you into a world beyond our senses. Enter if you dare!”
Life-Savers On All Sides
Life-Savers On All Sides
The old man is swimming alone
in the children’s pool,
his body thickness almost
the depth of the water, rolling
hips, spare flesh, touch tiles;
when he stands up
his calves are submerged –
he fears deep water.
Someone in his infancy
may have pushed him into a spongy
bed that absorbed his being – mouth full
of monstrous mud;
a snake constricting breathing,
Today, the pool empty of children,
life-savers on all sides,
he is relaxed, smiling,
knowing only a tiny
viscous slither of water slides between
his body and the bottom of the pool.
The Early Woman …
pegs sheets and pillow cases
onto her rotary clothes line,
had waited for night to die.
It is cold – dawn straightens sheets,
water freezing tiny digits
set within their waft and web
until, they silently clang,
slowly turning becoming triangular –
and she is fighting her way out,
walls of ice hemming her
inside a white-ice-walled cell.
The Straightness of the Sun’s Legs
The sun reveals the shape of her numerous legs;
they are straight, carving through the forest
creating tubes of florescent lighting,
touching both sky and loam in an above-ground
cave of stalagmites and stalactites.
Wearing a short skirt, her legs are out of control,
enjoying their own mode of line-dancing,
translating movements of clouds and wind
into a manuscript she alone can fathom,
her dance-floor expanding, keep out of her way.
The night has small pockets
we slide into – surreal swatches
the mind captures.
It wears a greatcoat, stands
perfectly still as if waiting
for a comet to take it away.
Its been outside the house
since I was a child, could see
the enormous blackness
when I looked over the yard wall,
heard its groans as daylight
rubbed it away.
It was a helpless creature then,
I tried to snatch at its lapel,
tried to reach its collar,
see if a smile of stars
waits on its tongue;
my hands too unsteady.
Giving Their All
A handful of swimmers in the pool,
plenty of space to push arms and legs out,
as far as they can reach.
Feet know how to arrange themselves,
not to break the rules
without ropes to divide each lane.
Hands, more difficult,
as passing they encounter flesh and bone.
Three young women,
tattoos slithering over their bodies
as sea-weeds from a fruitful sea,
dive as mermaids, touch tiles
two metres below the surface,
hair, opening as giant fans,
floats upwards in great pulses.
Some peoples’ bodies appear longer –
should be asked how they perform this trick;
I have seen their spines lengthen
as water unshackles vertebrae, cusps and discs.
I follow in their wake,
my body stiff as a peacock feather.
It’s the depth they dive that takes
my breath away;
a count of one, is all I know.