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
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.
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....
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.
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 black, blackness 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.