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Morecambe, Lancashire, United Kingdom
In the mornings I’m a Nursery Cook, the rest of the time a Writer. Been writing for decades: short stories, plays, poems, a sitcom and more recently flash fiction, Creative Writing MA at Lancaster Uni and now several novels. Been placed in competitions (Woman’s Own, Greenacre Writers and flashtagmanchester) and shortlisted in others (Fish, Calderdale, Short Fiction Journal). I won the Calderdale Prize 2011, was runner-up in the Ink Tears Flash Fiction Comp & won the Greenacre Writer Short Story Comp 2013. I have stories in Jawbreakers, Eating My Words, Flash Dogs Anthologies 1-3, 100 RPM and the Stories for Homes anthology. My work’s often described as ‘sweet’ but there’s usually something darker and more sinister beneath the sweetness. I love magical realism and a comedy-tragedy combination. My first novel, Queen of the World, is about a woman who believes she can influence the weather. I’m currently working on a 3rd: Priscilla Parker Reluctant Celebrity Chef. Originally from West Midlands, I love living by the sea in Morecambe, swimming, cycling, theatre, books, food, weather, sitcoms and LBBNML … SQUEEZE!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Useful String

I received a leaflet this morning about a poetry prize. After a few minutes of imagining entering and casually turning my fiver into two and half grand, I pulled myself together and decided to just put a poem on here instead.

Very rarely I have an idea that wants to be poetry but, even after writing it, this one still wants to be a poem. Its about two memorable days from my childhood, about string and also about time …

Useful String

We walk the dazzling fields.
A searing white sphere, squinting eyes.
Shorts and halter-neck
expose legs and back.
Wheat stubble scratches ankles.
Dad and brother march,
macho pride in first and fast.
Grandma regales Mum with village tales.
You and I lag behind
and we discover the trees,

the bees, the beetles,
flowers and crickets.
The spared ears of wheat,
at the field’s edges.
A loveliness of ladybirds.

You slowly bend with rickety legs,
pulling and gathering your useful string
from crust-dry furrows, releasing
fine powder into the air.
You wind it around your hand.
Pocket neat bundles, to store
in the drawer in the shed.

Your collections turned to rust,
dust and yellow-age. After -
we cleared out, threw away,
before the last day,
when we sat by the pond and
drank lemon squash from jam jars.

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