Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Sunday, 28 August 2016


This week I intend to feature seven of my Guernsey poems, one each day, from the 2010 collection, A Guernsey Double, which is an interesting little back-to-back  publication that showcased the work of Brighton-based writer, Peter Kenny and myself.
Peter is a freelance writer whose credits include poetry, stage plays and musical collaborations. Some of his many successes have been reported here on this blog as, no doubt, will be the many still to come.
Here’s an extract from the press release back in 2010 with a splendid endorsement from Professor Edward Chaney, author of the recently published biography of G B Edwards, Genius Friend.

I’ll follow it with a poem entitled Garden Diary, which I wrote when I lived in an old converted chapel in St Pierre du Bois, one of the high Parishes of the island.
It’s blank verse, not my usual rhyming lines, but I think it works well nonetheless.
I haven’t revisited A Guernsey Double for some time because I’ve tended to think of it as a bit quaint: a far cry from the sort of thing I write nowadays, but rereading it, prior to publication here, I’m heartened by the honesty and clarity of some of the poems. 
Tomorrow, and throughout the week, I’ll feature poems from the book, seven in total as part of Guernsey Week.

If you want to read the full collection, including Peter's poems, you might like to buy A Guernsey Double online from amazon or via this blog. 


Old Sion Chapel wall is high:
the ladder feels precarious.
Up here, I combat vertigo,
fix nesting boxes to hard stone
with fingers, winter-wounded-cold,
claw hammer, last year’s rusty nails.
Below, the bird-table is strung
with nuts in cages, fatballs, seeds.
The Parish beech trees all seem dead,
my garden tools are stained with rust.
Wood-smoke, soft dew, birdsong, light,
this mellow January day,
awake my hibernating heart
as. high above, jet trails on blue
chalk out simple geometry.
The hours hang in the chill air.
Damp earth within the Chapel yard
smells like dank cemetery soil
that sucks away without return.

Today I knelt to plant small bulbs,
each squat shape pressed into the loam
like buttons on a telephone:
their planting, one long number dialled.
Down wires of weeks, green life will hum,
till springtime, when these mended hands
may pluck, from softly yielding ground,
bright blooms like syllables of sound.

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