Tag Archives: Geoff Stevens Memorial Prize

Light a candle: celebrate standing in the dark

Counter Current News

Twelve poets met at the Sherston on December 7th to share recent work on and off the topic of lighting candles rather than cursing the dark. There were poems from David and Ama about floating candles in paper boats, and a candle poem from Chris. We heard dark poems from Chris, Andy  and Sara. Sara has the distinction of having been commended this year in the Geoff Stevens Memorial Prize, which was won in 2013 by Rachael. This post’s title is from Rachael’s “Solstice”, due to be published in the January issue of Raceme, a new literary magazine for Bristol and the South-west. Mark read two of his characteristic observations on human nature and from Richard we heard two sonnets inspired by precious stones.

Jo read “From Life” which is published in the Poetry Space Winter Showcase. Ewan read “Desert Wisdom” and a poem on the anniversary of his mother’s death. Ama’s second poem was a celebration of being in the dark. Ama had eleven poems in the last issue of Obsessed with Pipework and one in the December Mslexia. Some of Chris’s poetry has been carved as part of the Shapwich Heath Sculpture Trail.

Karin read two interestingly different versions of a new poem. Paul, a welcome newcomer to the group, contributed two poems.

Next month we’ll be meeting in the same place on January 4th with Rachael in the chair. By tradition we read any other poet’s published work at the January meeting. Rachael has suggested that this time we consider which eight poems we’d take with us to the BBC’s desert island – read two of them and list the other six. This will be quite a challenge, and should make for interesting listening.

Best wishes to all for a happy Christmas/Solstice/Saturnalia and an inspiring New Year.

Poetry is a sort of homecoming. – Paul Celan



Singing at the Bone Tree

Fountain poet Rachael Clyne’s prize-winning second collection will be published by Indigo Dreams on June 4th.

FB Bone Tree

Singing at the Bone Tree
Women gather for a residential course in the Scottish Highlands on writing the wild, only to find the surroundings turn out to be fenced-off moor, banks of forestry and mountains that sit firmly in the distance. The journey to reclaim the wild self inevitably encounters frustration and grief for our treatment of the earth. But if you accept what is, listen and watch – the wild reveals itself.

Rachael Clyne is a psychotherapist, poet and writer from Glastonbury. She attends and performs at poetry groups in Bath and Wells. Her work appears in several anthologies, and her first collection She Who Walks With Stones and Sings was published in 2006 (PS Avalon). Rachael’s love of nature and understanding of the human journey give her work a depth and earthiness, with humour even in the darkest places.

“Clyne’s poems are as earthy, rich, feral as the landscapes she writes about. Woven through all of them is the theme of digging to the bedrock, the bones – of human, of land. Her concerns are territory, boundaries, fences – and how we might slip through the wires. At times, as in the final poem, she achieves a near-shapeshift before our eyes.”
Poet, Author, Writing Tutor


Marking Territories
It’s the usual room shuffle
claiming our spot

proximity to loo

preferred mug.
Outside, brash wind
monochrome mountains

tussocks of grass, gorse.
But we are all fenced-in
wired to worked out ways

territory divided: rooms, heath. 
Mine is the outcrop near the bone tree
three gates, two fields, four fences away
Our task: to slip through the wires.