Two poems by Charlotte Gann

I feel very privileged to be able to share with you today two untitled poems from Charlotte Gann’s keenly anticipated second collection The Girl Who Criedavailable for pre-order now from HappenStance Press. Charlotte’s blog sheds a lot of light on the composition of, and ideas behind, this new collection, as well as much information on her celebrated first collection Noir

 

Around eleven every Saturday morning
I press my finger to your doorbell. Glance
at my phone or across the street – usually

someone I recognise – turn back to your
door: the mottled window with its iron
veins. Press my head closer, peer. The air

is whiter in places: if I tilt my head,
it tilts. I wonder if you heard the bell?
If I telephone, you’ll probably answer.

This is always the moment when the light
shifts slowly; slowly rearranges itself
into the small mass of your moving person.

 

The house with no door looks welcoming,
with its wisteria and robins. I can see,

through the kitchen window, a bowl
of cherries. They’re the brightest, darkest,

shiniest cherries. But that window’s shut
and bolted. I move on round. I know

I shouldn’t walk on flowerbeds.
I keep thinking the door must be around

the next corner. I’ve lost count now
how many times I’ve circumnavigated.

A poem by M. R. Peacocke

It’s a great pleasure to host a new poem by M. R. Peacocke today. Meg lives in Barnard Castle and is no doubt a familiar name to many poetry readers and lovers. Today’s poem is a rather elegiac one, about the slow erasure of a gardener’s work over time when nature is simply left to return to its own devices. In a recent letter to me Meg wrote: ‘Things grow, whether we’re around or not. Good’ and this poem is all about the bittersweet comfort of that knowledge. If you don’t already have a copy, I urge you to buy or borrow Meg’s most recent book Broken Ground – you won’t be disappointed. Her 2018 poetry pamphlet Honeycomb (HappenStance Press) is very rightly already sold out.

 

The gardener

 

Once I found his glove, and bent to pick it up –

nothing but leaves. It was October, the first time

I saw him, a quiet day. Any wind

might have taken him before he was ready.

 

His back, three quarters turned to me. The dull shine

on a khaki waistcoat. Rubbing his jaw –

I believed I could hear the little rasp. Dry grass?

He had a texture much like the walnut tree.

 

A thinking man, taking his time, observing

the small green rows, judging what was next to be done.

His hands looked ready to set about it,

like plough horses in the furrow, once he knew.

 

How long the trace of him lingered, I can’t tell.

After a while, he faded, his spade too.

The robin perched for a while on mine, and vanished,

needing his original patch, his habits,

 

the ancient patterns. Back came the dandelions,

the hard green of mare’s tail, bindweed loitering up,

ground elder edging in. Lost to themselves,

the measured paths. A forest of infant birch

 

among the tumbled walls is reaching upward.

Was there ever a door, an outside and an in?

Ghost of myself, I wait while time retreats,

leaf by leaf. The songless garden is unmade.