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Poetry

 

138 x 216mm

 

54 pages

 

£9.50 + P&P UK

 

PUB: 11/06/2021

 

 

ORDER HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watching My Aunt

 

I wanted to learn this new trick,

this act of dying

that got everyone whispering,

hushing it over amongst themselves.

 

So I watched her,

heard the shallow, quick breaths,

watched her arms thinning

till I fancied I could see

the bleached frame of her bones.

 

I expected her to shrink up,

away into nothing

or her skin to get so tight

that her bones would powder up

and her blood spill out,

making her fizz and froth over the edges of the bed

and down onto the scrubbed floor.

I wanted her to crack like a piñata,

let me see the insides, the spark of her,

watch it start to dwindle

then snuff it out with my finger and thumb.

 

I didn’t expect it but I remember

the smell just before the end

like tinned pineapples,

sour at the back of my throat.

 

 

There Is A Man At The Foot Of The Bed.

 

Crawling;

first on his belly;

then flipping, crabwise, upside down.

Arcing:

belly up, then belly down.

 

First dragging, nose along carpet-edge,

snouting through dust-bunnies.

Then erect;

twisting, thrashing, grinding against the footboard.

 

I know you can see him too,

if only out of the corner of your eye.

 

He is parading himself,

flashing in and out of our eye line.

 

His contorting body, black

oily Lycra –

membranous,

showing every fibrous muscle cluster,

every twitch of nerve.

 

It is a grotesque display;

like a dying wasp. Yet my eyes keep

returning to the spot he inhabits.

Peripheral but not quite out of vision.

 

This man I cannot draw attention to.

The one I know you see is there –

but will not mention.

 

 

Waiting For The Sun

 

You walked with me

at three am

the sky grey, and the street

empty,

your hands

cold against mine.

 

We squeezed through locked gates

and sat on the squat roof

of the crematorium,

we would play

at holding a séance;

our breath rippling the candle flames

as we translated the leaf rustle

into whispers

and poured melted wax over our hands –

sealing our friendship with the marks

left behind.

 

You stayed with me for hours

squinting our eyes in the darkness

waiting for the morning sun –

wanting to watch as it smudged back the shadows

and added weight back to the outlines of the world.

 

You stayed with me,

whispering,

waiting for the sun,

but it shuffled in unnoticed

changing the sky from slate grey

to the battleship grey of morning.

 

Native

 

The cold air is the least concern

rather it calms the screaming of the skin.

Tiny bundle.

Fur wrapped.

Waiting out the night on this hillside –

alone.

Survival only if strong enough.

 

Her skin –

this newborn flesh, recoiling

at the sensation of the blanket she is laced into –

squirming to be free of the warmth that itches.

 

Nestled among Birch, Pine and long grass.

The air raking down into lungs. Each breath

traces a slight poison trail inwards.

 

This baby that sneezes instead of crying.

 

 

 

Pocket Full Of Stones

 

Zoë Sîobhan Howarth-Lowe

 

*****

 

 

 

 

 

Zoë Sîobhan Howarth-Lowe is a Poet, Mum and Beaver Leader from Dukinfield. She has an MA from Bath Spa University and her two previous publications  are 'Love is the way bark grows' (Half Moon Books) and 'I have grown two hearts' (Hedgehog Poetry Press). Zoë’s work has appeared in many anthologies and journals.

She regularly headlines at spoken word events.

Pocket Full Of Stones

 

Leaves breaking through the waters surface,

green, brown – the water is autumnal,

leaves falling, drifting.

 

The water is shallow,

still, it treads me down, hard,

pressing me into the grit

and dust that creeps up around me

and over me, tasting of the smell of wet grass.

 

There is light here,

giving shapes to the movements

of rocks, twigs and leaves

all of which are drowning with me.

Pulled in by my clumsy attempt

to see what drowning feels like.

 

Zoe Howarth-Lowe amend 9781912876563 back image 100