Outside the sky has shifted to tin, but the rain holds off even as the clouds buckle thick bellies heavy against the horizon, beached mothers in their slow, sloping movements. A tremor that might be a plane, or a kick, or my imagination is proof enough of life. I needed proof today. The world has emptied, drained out while I slept still damp along the edges but vacant. I need the sky to fill me up.
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.
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.
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)