WILD NATURE POETRY AWARD competition now open.




Penelope Shuttle has lived in Cornwall since 1970 and is the widow of the poet Peter Redgrove (1932-2003).


Her most recent publication is the book-length sequence of poems, Heath (Nine Arches Press), a revisiting of Hounslow Heath and Heathrow Airport, written in collaboration with John Greening.  


Her next Bloodaxe collection appears in May 2017, and is titled Will You Walk a Little Faster?







36 pages


£6.00 + P&P UK


PUB: 25/08/2016


ISBN: 978-1-910834-21-3













Back in 2005 I attended a Study Day at Tate Britain which focused on the Gallery’s current major exhibition, Turner, Whistler, Monet.  I made some notes, filed them and promptly forgot about them.  


A few years later they came to light in a notebook.  Suddenly I found myself writing about Monet in London.  Monet was a man with a very hearty appetite.  I’d gone to the Study Day on my own, but more usually I go to places with friends, or with my daughter. In one of the poems here I’m accompanied by my Great Aunt Wave, and it is 1955. We travelled from Staines to Windsor on a Salters’ Steamer, which still steam along the Thames. In fact I recently saw the steamer again, and I think it was the same one we went on in 1955!


The common thread of the pamphlet is visits I’ve made and experiences I’ve had during these visits.  Sissinghurst, Paris, Lapland, Galway, Wales, and Rome, are some of the places explored.  


I hope that this set of my travelling poems captures a sense of the energy I felt in each different locale.


Penelope Shuttle

July, 2016






















Once upon a time in Ireland I met

a black mulberry tree so senior, so aged,

it was its own walking stick

as it strolled along

the longest herbaceous border in Europe.


Only when the mulberry produces

one green leaf is it safe

to plant out

your tender summer bedders

for no mulberry will show a single leaf

till all danger of frost is past,

so wise and cautious is this tree.


I met an ancient mulberry once,

bent low to its task of treedom.




Four portions of everything on the menu for M’sieur Monet!


1902.  Monet’s staying at The Savoy

in the same rooms

occupied by Whistler a few years ago

and successfully avoiding

the denotive shackles of too exact a realism

in his paintings of The Thames,

busy adding extra bridges –

all his boatmen are named Charon

ferrying the dead  

from shore to shore


Only winter will do for Monet

London wrapped

in that mysterious cloak of fog

and mist

created by London’s basin situation


Four portions of everything on the menu for M’sieur Monet!


Only in winter

can Monet paint the Thames

without risking the overabundance

of verisimilitude

though unlike Turner

he does not resort to the trick

of making the world taller, buildings,

mountains, waterfalls,


but like Turner and Whistler

he offers us

(and so will Dufy)

a world (a Thames) of radiant precision


Look sharp Billy!  Four portions of everything for M'sieur Monet!




Penny amend

Where he lived


Silent clocks knew him well

in his house by the Well


in the parlour of blessings

where good silence


pours from china jugs with kind faces

and keeps a steadfast hold


of the bottle of Quink

and the cypress-black headband from ‘The Destroyer’


and a ballad holds its breath –


the silent bird on the clock’s face

is in love with the pale gold fletch


of the peacock feather lying on his desk

to show our poet’s flown his earthly nest


though I still asked his permission

to cross the threshold of the house


a stone’s throw

from the tumpy castle on the hill


Tunes are playing

from the poet’s piano


they slip through the house

quick and neat as summer rain


as the youngling trout

in the leaf-skimmed Kensey


flowing down by Ridgeway Hill and the old quarry


i.m. Charles Causley






Thanks to global warming

an Inuit community

up in the Arctic Circle

sees its first ever wasp


But they have no word

for wasp

and obey local radio warnings

not to touch the creature


which has no word

in wasp for ice

any more than a Japanese sex doll

has a word for love