‘The Aunties’ by Lynn Valentine

I hope everyone has had a good Tuesday, although if ever a Tuesday felt like a Monday it was today! But we’ll forgive it just this once. Tonight I’m sharing a second poem from Lynn Valentine’s new collection Life’s Stink & Honey. I could honestly share one each day but don’t want to reveal the whole book, you should buy it and discover the delights inside for yourselves. You can purchase a copy of Lynn’s collection on her website or through her publishers, Cinnamon Press.

The poem I am sharing is ‘The Aunties’ which was commissioned by the Scottish Poetry Library’s guest curator Aoife Lyall as part of the Scottish Poetry Library’s Champions project in 2020 (Valentine 2022). I’m sure you’ll agree it was a worthy commission and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do:

‘The Aunties’ by Lynn Valentine

They had the gift. Hidden about them
like a penny at the bottom of a pocket.

But theirs was a silver coin. On high days
they flattened your hand, palm up and

snap, out of their mouths flowed planets
and stars, life’s stink and honey, babies

being born, relationships stalling, illnesses
yet to come. Never a date of death,

only a hint of feather, of crow. I laughed
as a child, thought them witches, hoodwinkers.

Now the crow cracks the glass, the moon turns her head,
the evening thickens with visions from aunts long-dead.


Valentine, L. (2022) ‘The Aunties’ from Life’s Stink & Honey. Cinnamon Press, 24

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Wendy Pratt

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