“Stars, Like Policemen, Often Come In Pairs” Giles Sparrow, A History of the Universe in 21 Stars (and 3 imposters)

After chapter six I get distracted, put the book down, and leave it
on a shelf with likeminded volumes of good intentions
I mean to come back to. 

Ursa Major makes a den for itself among scattered thoughts
hibernates until night unfolds, then The Great Bear yawns
stirs like memory and steps into the sky. 

It takes the right kind of observation, to find binary stars. 
They huddle so close that they obscure their own pairings,
burn as a single pinpoint to the naked eye. 

Two magnitudes in perpetual orbit, moving as one, 
two halves of a whole, it is easy to paint a romance on devotion 
so far removed. 
 
Our sun is solitary, though not extraordinarily so, or oddly so. 
Stars (I read) are loners just as often as couples
And it makes no difference to their brightness. 

There is nothing wrong with a little loneliness. 
Sometimes the only light you need is the one you hold
sometimes space is what makes you seen. 

#Poems Against Platitudes, No. 6 – Carol J Forrester

There were no feathers, though my father looked
torch an oily, smoking star
he bid me follow north.

We found bones.

Cracked open for their marrow, stacked
in heaps against the walls
too brittle to be clever
no matter how my father willed it.

He took one with a sharpened end
kept it in his palm, even while we slept.

I knew he feared the dark.

We ate beef, until the maggots set in
and then we built ourselves an escape
from the ruins of its ribcage.

No feathers, only broken bone.

No feathers, only broken hope.

Poems Against Platitudes, No.1 by Carol J Forrester

When they say “nothing in life is handed to you”
I’m going to call bullshit.
Here:
every small, pricking doubt I’ve cradled
like a haphazard stack of crockery.
You can take it.
Each shard was gifted to me
without asking.
It is long past time I found someone willing
to clear out the cupboards in my chest. 
See how well I have nursed them
how big some of them have grown?

‘It’s All In The Blood’ by Carol J Forrester available from Amazon on kindle and in paperback.

We come from sheep thieves and cattle rustlers…
We have learnt what is proper…
Streaking towards the bogland…

Packed with mythology, history, and powerful women, Carol J Forrester’s debut collection centres on family, ancient mythology, and womanhood in the twenty-first century. Zeus is spearfishing over Stranraer, Megera is standing her ground, and Jormungandr wants to consume everything. Exploring the complications of expectations, and how the past can shape who we are, this collection is an accumulation of thirteen years of poetry.

“The poems are vivid and confidently crafted…” Helen Kay (This Lexia & Other Languages V. Press)

“A bold, brutally honest and dazzling debut collection…” Deborah Edgeley (Testing The Delicates)

“Gentle and reflective with an underlying poignancy…” D. Peach (The Rose Shield Tetralogy)

“…teeming with poems coming to terms with Forrester’s strength of voice – a voice which sings with the clarity of a poetry capable of holding all of life…” Liz Lefroy (GREAT MASTER / small boy (2021) Fair Acre Press)

Writing Update: Two Months Of Forgetting To Blog

I’m terrible at blogging. Really, really terrible.

This morning when I checked the date on my last proper ‘blog”, (we exclude poems for the sake of clarity), I realised two months had somehow flown past me. We’re now creeping into Autumn, the heatwaves are showing signs of dissipating, and the dryer is in use because business as usual has resumed regarding English weather and rain.

The results for the first round of the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge arrived and ‘Once Upon A Time There Was A Quest’ ranked 13th in its group. The groups normally have around 35 individuals in them, and 13th place earns two points towards moving forward into the second round. For the second round of challenge one (I hope you’re keeping up with this) I was tasked with writing a romantic comedy, set on a hot air balloon, including an alarm clock. Attempting to follow the feedback from the judges on my first story, I tried to keep my flash to just two characters, and minimal scene breaks. I say minimal, there are still two scene changes but not quite as dramatic as the ones in ‘Once Upon A Time There Was A Quest’.

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