Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 5- National Poetry Day 2020

Tomorrow is National Poetry Day in the UK and so this week’s podcast is dropping tomorrow to celebrate and I am surrounded by 4 guest poets from as far as New Zealand and as close as Dublin City centre who share their poems on movement, change, time and loss. Join us tomorrow and meantime- Stay […]

Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 5- National Poetry Day 2020

Damien is ‘casting again. If you like to listen to poetry, I do recommend checking it out.


Beacons and battlements –
they build your churches
in high places, with long views.

I think we need you now,
warrior and angel, defender,
I think it’s time
to take a stand

in the heights,
to look out across the sea
and guide us home.

I’m linking this to earthweal’s Michaelmas challenge, and to dVerse’s vatic voice challenge, hosted by Lisa. There are lots of St Michael’s churches around here – always on high ground. Mounts, hills, and headlands.

The truth is

The truth is
your heart is as big as your fist.

The salmon’s a tin-foiled muscle
following the scent of truth
back to the breeding ground

and the swallow flies a trail of truth
across the gleaming sea
the glittering desert
to build a house of mud

and I just want a small truth
like a white pebble
in my pocket

but your lies
set bush fires
your lies
melt ice
your lies
break the world in two
your lies
are killing us

truth is a feather
on the tongue

a snowflake falls and melts
a million snowflakes
a million billion
form an avalanche

a starling
forms part of
a great moving shape

a fish
swings silver
in a sheltering shoal

and we are stronger together
standing against
your burning lies

Grace is hosting at dVerse tonight, and asks for protest poetry. I’m not sure this is one to shout at the barricades, but I am so sick of being lied to by politicians.


From here on in, I’m standing with the crones,
the cold-eyed, clear-eyed women
who stand in judgement. Yes,
I’m saying “No” and “Stop” and
“That’s enough”, I’m sweeping out
the old shit, the old cobwebbing mess
of sweet and pretty and compliant.

I have bled, and fed, and shed
so many tears now. Now it’s time
to take a stand, to accept
consequences. I’m calling
wolf and raven, I’m calling up
old blood, old wisdom – wait and see.
I’m offering the wintering power
of waiting, holding on. Tenacity.

I’m seeking out the austere beauty
of bone and rock, of leafless branch.
I will not soothe you. It’s time now
to embrace the anger of old women,
the fierce, cold flame, the pointing finger,
“I can’t be doing with it”. Stop. I’m doing right,
not doing nice. I’m holding firm.

The wisdom of the crone
lies in the soil, in time, in darkness.
That’s where the seeds are planted,
the seeds that send out roots
and tender shoots, and grow
to be great trees. Bury it deep.

Brendan is hosting at earthweal this week, and asks us to think about what mythic mentors we need now. I did a goddess poetry workshop just before lockdown, and again during lockdown, and I’m pretty sure I need to work on my inner Crone. This is my tribute to the strong old women. You might recognise some of them.


Episode 3 of the Podcast Eat The Storms is on your local platform or coming soon. Definitely on Spotify already and it is packed tight with talent… Thank you to the featured Poets Ankh Spice, Sarah Connor, Ruairí De Barra, Eilín de Paor, Jane Dougherty, Kevin Bateman, Catherine Ann Cullen and Aisling Keogh


Nine and nine

Laura’s hosting at dVerse tonight. She always comes up with interesting and challenging prompts – I think of them as architectural. Tonight we’re thinking about nines – nine line poems and nonets. Laura has given us some lines from great poems to use as the basis for our own work. I couldn’t resist having a go at both halves of the prompt.

Here’s my first one. The first line is taken from W.S. Merwin’s “To the Light of September”/

Summer fading

It seems as though you are still summer
clinging to the last pink roses,
but the early morning chill
lasts a little longer
every day. Autumn
is so close now,
cold fingers

And here’s the second, which is based on this line: Those/ pale /flowers /might /still /have/ time/ to /fruit from Karina Borowicz’s ‘September Tomatoes


Those geese flying overhead
pale wings spread out, like
flowers on a blue bedspread
might fly on. They are so strong, they
still have miles to go. It’s
time to seek out warmth,
to hunker down. Autumn’s brought
fruit and frost and morning mist.