Poems from ‘Dorothy’ by Briony Hughes

Happy Hump Day! I hope everyone is having a good week so far, well, as good as you can in this world we’re living in. As a wee treat I’ll be sharing more than one poem/poet this evening. Each is a favourite of mine and I hope you enjoy them too.

To begin with we have two poems from Briony Hughes’ collection Dorothy (2020) published by Broken Sleep Books. “Dorothy is a collection of ‘via’ poems that conveys stories of numberless nameless forgotten women who lived, worked, and died by the river Thames and its tributaries” (Nisha Ramayya 2020). This collection not only contains powerful poetry but is also stunning visually and the “visceral diagrammatic and hand drawn shapes connect the structural properties of water to the female body of the poet” (Cat Chong 2020). You can purchase a copy of Dorothy from Broken Sleep Books here.

via film

old father thames will lose
none     of     his     dignity
the      arrival      of      this
this  lusty  child  of  a  new


Dorothy         is
ankle          tied
to         cement
blocks            it
will     take    73
to        t    t    tt

via bath

globular-bulbous                                as canopy reclines into rosemary
she’s shifting against plastic chewed by bodies                              froth
and hard water as tangerine into hips slip this breasted retiform brims
thickens skim under the tap                                               swells across
hot –                                                            furrows and fissures in both
elongated fruit                                               directions an exchange of
display your tentacles and tube feet!                                         ripening
rub ginger and active tar against your leather      bark clots at the plug
scalp sifting flickers of white                        her foliage reaching across
a tiled floor


Hughes, B. (2020) Dorothy. Cornwall/Wales: Broken Sleep Books, 18 & 24

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Wendy Pratt

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