NEW POETRY BY PIPPA LITTLE

PIPPA LITTLE is a Scot from St. Andrews who now lives in Northumberland with her dog, husband and youngest son. Overwintering came out from OxfordPoets/Carcanet in 2015 and was shortlisted for The Seamus Heaney Centre Award. She has been awarded an Eric Gregory, The Andrew Waterhouse Northern Promise Award, the Norman MacCaig Centenary Poetry Prize and was a joint winner of The James McCash Competition. She is also a reviewer and editor. In September 2015 she takes up a Royal Literary Fund Fellowship at Newcastle University. She is presently working on her next collection, begun during her Hawthornden Fellowship. She co-founded and continues to be involved in Carte Blanche, a women’s writing group.  

 

Gallows House

All night the cisterns whisper.
A lantern on its long chain
ticks and mutters in the stairwell,

something in the roof-light
breathes and blanches
where the crow hung.

There are scuff-marks in the floor.
The child I was crosses the landing,
a torch swings round, sudden – zoetrope’s

galloping alphabet of silverish
fingerprints – all night I pick at the roof catch
as if I could spring it open.

 

Future, Refused
(An abandoned bedroom)

Do you know about the roof, that lonely hole,
the split in the ceiling? A paperback swells like bread
from its voluptuous damp. And in the corner
a black nest of spiderlings might be an Edwardian beard,
a Mount of Venus… my stranger’s camera spies
buttons in a scallop shell, TCP, the metal tin of Ocelot talc,
glass nightcaps, bottles, unsent notelets of blue roses
which might be mine as much as yours, or belong finally
to themselves.
I imagine you
walking out forty years ago, stepping the overlap,
banging a suitcase down the stairs against your thighs,
going with nothing else of you, and two small daughters,
than could be carried.

But this is not our story, nothing was touched here.
Instead, something you thought you loved
took its time to mass, immortal, behind another wall.

 

One for Sorrow

Sleekly oriental
you swoop:
jack-hammer beak
enjoys its skill –

having feasted
on grief
you leave bared sharps
unyolked on the path,

long pendulum of feather
a flash of blue/black
you track me
all along the wall:

enamelled in your eye
I am your likeness,
my family all gone, all,
but you are constant:

I mount you on my thumb,
spit to test the wind:
which way home,
executioner?

 


If you wish to read the poems in page view, the following link will take you to a PDF – Pippa Little Poems

All works published by the Glasgow Review of Books are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and the journal reserves the right to be named as place of first publication in any citation. Copyright remains with the poet. http://www.glasgowreviewofbooks.com

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