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Nov 24th
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Poetry Corner Featuring the work of poet Josephine Dickinso

AE-poetryIn this week’s Poetry Corner, we feature the work of poet Josephine Dickinson, author of the book, “Silence Fell.” She lives in Alston, the remote Cumbrian mining town high in the Pennines, since 1994.

Evening. A cool June. Hand in hand

we walk round the garden, dodging

loose stones, gaps where the new lawn needs

chocking with ballast, ducking the

windsock wrapping itself round its

pole, checking rows of this and that,

which seeds have failed to show up, which

flowers begin to glow, cold-frame

cucumbers to grow big enough

to finger the panes of glass. But

there is no blossom this year on

the apple tree. It has been too

cold. But when we step round the house

to the front door again and kiss,

we know it is no ordinary

love, this, that we stand in the cold

and the damp of this unusual

cold, wet June (but there are no wars)

and do what we do all the time -

love indoors outdoors just the same.

AE_poetry_SilenceFellMy Lover Gave Me Green Leaves

My lover gave me green leaves

with the mud of the garden on them,

radishes sharp and red,

nasturtium flames.

He gave me the tender heart

of a cabbage, its glossy coat,

a loaf of bread studded deep

with seeds.

He gave me the note

the blackbird

I’d cried at the blackness of

by the river sang.

He gave me the struck fire

of the thoughts

in his mind -

flint on flint.

He gave me the taste,

direct on his tongue,

of the syllables their embers

did not destroy.

He gave me his word,

the word of an Adam -

a promise,

should he set eyes on the sun.

He gave me a drop of the dew

to hold.

To see my face in it.

To look through.

He gave me,

in the chrisomed palm

of his empty hand -

a gasp of joy.

Night Journey

In this yew,

silver lipped bole,

divine the true

age of the year.

Whatever your wish,

to be still,

to tremble,

is hallowed here.

My bark is hollowed.

The wound

has revealed

the age of the moon

by her reflection

in my silver womb.

Hold me,


that I would be

a craft that sets

sail in calm

or storm,

by day, stars

or planets.

Who but you to provide

the state of the tide?

A boat without guide

needs only sea.

Unafraid to drown,

or to land alone

on sand at dawn,

hull empty.



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