My Bag of Bones

I have admired this writer’s work for several years now. He is published in a number of places but he has decided to grace us at last with a new blog of some of his writing. Give him a read. I don’t have a favourite but I quite like this one.

John G. Nettles

I’m told I do a decent job
shaking my bag of bones
and reading what spills
onto my spirit table as if
the runes make sense
and import, as if I possess
some sort of inherent insight
into love and its stygian depths,
as if I know what I’m seeing,
and people say they sit up
and listen as I clear my throat
and make my dramatic passes
over these artful messes with hands
steadied with generous swigs
of the snake oil I whip up nightly
in my claw-footed bathtub
for courage and glib fortitude
and dole out the codswallop
that I claim is cosmic knowledge
of the contortions of the heart,
but this is my secret, that I know
wagonloads of sheer nothing,
that love confuses me, that desire
gives me fever and night-sweats,
that I never know how much I have
or how much will ever be enough

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A Story of Love Like a River

They fell in love

they would wonder
if they had ever known the other
if they had merely fallen in love
with themselves

Even later
they would struggle
to remember
the other
the places their heart
meticulously mapped out

but deep in their hearts
was a solid line
with tributaries
like a river

when the moon was full
and the night was warm
and still
they would float on the surface
gliding on water like glass
and let themselves remember


mid- August scree – Jean Atkin

I only recently discovered Jean Atkin. This is a lovely example of her work.

mid- August scree

bootset to rock stack, sheer

…………under its wedged weight

my own

………..sends each stone

down by half a pace,

………..glance up to map

a path not there, just

…………you above, you don’t

look back……. I slip,

…………feel heart rate leap

and clutch one-handed

…………into bilberries

that aren’t yet ripe

Jean Atkin’s new collection ‘How Time is in Fields’ is forthcoming from IDP in spring 2019. Previous publications include ‘Not Lost Since Last Time’ (Oversteps Books).  Recent work appears in The Rialto, Magma, Lighthouse, Agenda and Ambit.  She works as a poet in education and community and is currently Troubadour of the Hills for Ledbury Poetry Festival.

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