Poems by Joan Poulson

Poet Joan Poulson read at Rhwng on Friday February 2nd 2007. She has kindly submitted two poems – thank you very much, Joan.

Anna has never kept ducks

Anna has never kept ducks, has friends who own
only a king-size bed and a black Glide she covets
to ride solo across the Painted Desert.

Afraid of heights she’s walked Striding Edge
climbed a Jack-in-the-Beanstalk ladder
vertical up a face in the Puye Cliffs

and relaxing in bergamot fragrant suds
she ponders a home far from the city
and bookshops, the music, cafes,
friends she meets week-ends in galleries
with glass roofs and staircases
where she rarely thinks of the cave
by the river ghosting her mind
like the eyes of that seal in Wales,
the smells of a bluebell wood in spring.

She’ll make extensions of wood and glass
and mud to her forever-home

will read and paint, write strange, startling phrases.
On drizzly nights she’ll gaze at moons and galaxies
through glass, on soft dry evenings stretch beside
the waterfall, whispering with owls and birch trees,
chuckling as otters slide mud-glossy slopes
and foxes leap and yelp, unable to reach
the tree-house she built for her ducks.

A Friday in June

Into the city,
first time in weeks.

The tram juddering,
my thoughts on the wonder that is my life.

The tram juddering,
wounded caterpillar.

I turn to your book,
read about your dog,
about waiting for a train,
about an August caterpillar.

I am weeping.

Joan Poulson writes for both adults and children, has read her work to audiences indoors and out, in desert and in snow, from Norway to India, Penrith to the Isle of Wight, California to Vermont. Her work has appeared in book-form including onetree singing (Blackthorn Books) and the children’s novel Dear Ms (A and C Black); on commissioned sculpture (Durham Art Gallery and Norton Priory Museum); on posters (Poems in Waiting Rooms, the Arts Council); in dance drama production; on Radio 4 and Channel 4 television.

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