And it wouldn’t be World Poetry Day without travelling to the other side of the world, and sharing one of my favourite poets, Ankh Spice who lives in New Zealand. You can check out more about Ankh via on their website here https://www.ankhspice-seagoatscreamspoetry.com/.
The poem I am sharing is from Ankh’s first full-length collection, The Water Engine published by Femme Salve Books in 2021. As written in the many wonderful reviews of the collection, Alan Parry writes “The Water Engine is a stunning collection of poems that perhaps does not appreciate its own power. It is brimming with naturalistic beauty, with humility, with raw emotion, and with exquisite skill”.
I hope you enjoy the poem I have picked to share tonight (I was very much spoiled for choice).
A place to stand, a lever
On the beach, three children have conjured
a world. The castle survived an afternoon
century of siege, and is ancient now, shadow
longing toward the water. A fence of feathers
is still flying a boundary between his necessary
graveyard, her garden. Careful seashell tombstones
and careful seashell pathways, from this angle
shine the same — white bone, broken patterns.
The youngest child, banished for the chaos he carried
so loosely, terraformed the badlands at the edge
of the tide. That far country is dangerous, tunnel
and collapse, channel and mountain. But the three
are safe in the tearooms, powers combined to manifest
ice-cream. It does not matter to them now
that the great flood they surely knew was coming,
is coming. The driftwood has sailed too long
and is heavy, and who can ever carry enough
for a buttress, and who could ever dam away
a whole sea, but one long piece it leaps to the hand
like a wand. And I do believe that I too,
I too was once a strong magic spell
just barely contained inside a skin.
~The H Word~
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