Elizabeth Parker 

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Elizabeth Parker
Poetry Prose Teaching

Elizabeth Parker grew up in a garden centre in The Forest of Dean, which her parents still own and run. She finds The Forest of Dean inspires her writing more and more.

She was shortlisted for The Bridport Prize and Eyewear Publishing’s Melita Hume Prize, which resulted in Eyewear publishing her debut pamphlet ‘Antinopolis’.

She lives on Bristol harbour and is a member of poetry group The Spoke. She has been Highly Commended in the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition and was a prizewinner in the 2016 Troubadour Poetry Competition. She has been published in Magma, The Stony Thursday Book, Raceme, Southword, The Interpreter’s House and Eyewear Publishing’s latest anthology The Best New British and Irish Poets 2016 (see Publications). Her first full collection will be published by Seren in April 2018.

May 2018

Currently loving....

The work of fellow Bristol poet Martin Rieser, last month's featured poet on Poetry Kit's CITN poetry series. Martin is a member of the Bristol Stanza group. Here's a sample....

Mary Anning

Fossil hunter

They say I am the daughter of a lightning strike

which threw me into a new way of wonder.

The undercliff roared and rolled last night-

a fair dishing of rocks across the strand

and the Lias full of bones and shells.

I pray in chapel every Sunday for such a fall

for rain and wind to do the work

and the days in fret and mud to be worthwhile.

Poor Tray and I dug for hours and found 

a long skull, which must surely sell.

The Bible is one truth, but not the only kind:

I know these bones will remake the world

breaking the old sureties with Deep Time.  

I will send this one to Colonel Birch,

a kind gentleman, who has used me well.


For Jacques Marie Charles Trolley Prévaux 

Born April 2, 1888 Died August 19 1944 


What lives, drags itself

back to the ruined towns,

moves like trackless ants

over rubble and torn earth.

From the cockpit

I can see trenches and shatterings,

all the tiny paraphernalia of death.

I wind the camera.

The plane’s shadow bubbles

over the front’s pocked 

and futile corridor.


It was in the Marseille dazzle

when they came for us

dressed in stifling black.

I stared hard at the sun.

In Monluc there is no light

except the torturing electric spark ;

I climb through clouds of pain

to the blue silence.

If I could only go higher

I would see the curve 

of this small planet

and the light of stars.

With the scent of burnt flesh,

of feathers,  I am ready

now for the long 

wingless fall into silence.

In Raqqa

For Ruqia Hassan 1985-2015

If we pay attention to the soldered sky 

it is spliced to the earth by imaginary ladders.

No one has shown us any love, except the graveyards.

No one has shown any compassion, except the graveyards.

If we pay attention to the staggered roofs 

the music of smoke writes itself randomly.

End this darkness, these random acts of dislocation:

crucifixions in the squares, whippings on the corners.

If we pay attention to the street, metal rains down,

fire rains down, rubble falls and the jets pass.

The walls are painted blackblackness covers our heads,

even our hands are covered. Without dignity life is worthless.

If we pay attention to their words, they pierce like thorns,

their edicts hedge the city, our roses drop in the dust. 

My soul is free but my body theirs to break as they will.

We shall not bend, but we will die tomorrow or today.


The heat in this poem!! Kindling for us all on chill Autumn days...

The thistledown's flying, though the winds are all still,
On the green grass now lying, now mounting the hill,
The spring from the fountain now boils like a pot;
Through stones past the counting it bubbles red-hot.

The ground parched and cracked is like overbaked bread,
The greensward all wracked is, bents dried up and dead.
The fallow fields glitter like water indeed,
And gossamers twitter, flung from weed unto weed.

Hill-tops like hot iron glitter bright in the sun,
And the rivers we're eying burn to gold as they run;
Burning hot is the ground, liquid gold is the air;
Whoever looks round sees Eternity there.