Published Poetry

This page contains a few of my published poems, some of which are quite a few years old now.  As they are works of creativity, they are not necessarily reflective of my personal feelings or opinions; some are responses to stimuli, whilst others are just my thoughts in poetic form.

A couple more are awaiting publication, so I’ll update the page as soon as I’m allowed to; I don’t want to breach any copyright laws!

Indian Dreaming

Sleep as the fireflies glow hot,

Dream of Indian silks, of opulent silks,

The snake-like spirit of the East.

Touch the exotic, bite it.

Savour the juices with their bittersweet aftertaste.

And listen, listen, to the sound of your heart,

Rhythmic, regular, like the sound of her calloused feet,

Thumping for miles along the harsh, brown earth.

Dream of that distant paradise,

The Indian summers and opulent silks,

The snake-like spirit that lives in your soul.

And listen, listen, to the sound of her cries.

Synonym

In this thesaurus of loss,

L has abandoned ‘lover’

to create a synonym for ‘at an end’.

I leave the book open at this page,

hoping you’ll notice the word

I’ve circled furiously

over and over

and over again.

Superstition

In the cupped palm of your hand,

your love line creases into a smile

that’s not for me.

An omen in itself,

and still my tulip buds

in extravagant yearning,

straining for the sun,

searching, searching.

Over my shoulder, apple peel

curves into an initial that can

never begin to spell your name.

A euphemism,

but still I sense

its implicit meaning,

superstition overwritten,

fading, fading.

Inside of me, a flower

defies nature, inverts itself,

becomes nothing.

A loss within myself.

And the peel writhes

into a curious ball of misery,

widowed of a name,

grieving, grieving.

Medusa

At first sight, tight buds

of your flower-strewn curls

unfurl themselves sensually,

inviting me into your boudoir

of petalled skies, where passion

will soar from our eyes;

unbridled horse.

Red is for romance.

On this night, sirens blare

in the underworld of your hair;

a prelude to the uncoiling

of serpents in your mind,

which slither into the curve

of hanging question marks;

to live or to die?

Red is for danger.

In this light, blood spills

from the wound of your scalp,

cascading your humanity

Like a river of mortality;

the currents of a life

flowing out.

Red is for pain.

Lost Property Collection Point

Entering Heaven, she found that it was not quite to her taste. The décor was divine – who could fault the silky-rich fabric of the sky, the reams of honey golden ribbon that cascaded through the valleys, wrapping the place up: a gift? But good God, where were the Margheritas? And who had stolen her Jimmy Choos?
Barefoot, she left the others bleating on about some guy called Jesus; silently padded along, looking out for the signs: Customer Services, Lost Property Collection Point.  And that’s when she saw him emanating light beneath the boughs of a gnarled tree:  the face of an angel.

If her eyes could have spoken one word, it would have been this: falling. He responded effortlessly, his nine-carat smile offering: I’ll save you. Did she want him to show her the way? Of course. Her feet were beginning to smell. So, Choo-less, he guided her, his clean feet speaking a path she had never heard before.

Hope you found something in them that you appreciated or enjoyed.Thanking you for reading! Kate xxx

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Recent Posts

Lost in Time

Votes for women

As someone who has always been interested in women’s history and the female struggle for the vote in Britain, research for a recent cultural day out in Manchester led me to become very excited about the discovery of a historical and political gem- Emmeline Pankhurst’s former residence, where the very first meeting of the Women’s Social and Political Union took place in 1903. Imagining it as some sort of feminist Mecca, I was eager to visit and indulge my inner suffragette. Now serving as a women’s community centre with a small museum, The Pankhurst Centre’s website stated that it ‘offers space for activities and events run by women for women’, besides having information about the Pankhursts and the Suffragette movement. Despite this being where the militant part of the women’s rights movement truly began, however, I was surprised and a little disappointed to discover that the museum and heritage centre only opens for six hours on a Thursday. On this occasion, my pilgrimage would, frustratingly, have to be restricted to taking a few snaps of the building from the outside.

Pankhurst Plaque

What surprised me even more was the reaction of quite a few women to my discovery. “Who’s Emmeline Pankhurst?” one intelligent woman asked, whilst a couple more confused her with Emily Davison Wilding, the suffragette who was famously killed when she stepped out in front of the king’s horse. The more I contemplated it, the more annoyed I became- not with these women, but with the kind of society in which the masses are generally ignorant of some of the most important female figures in our social and political history. Why is it that more people seem to celebrate and idolise reality TV ‘stars’ than the women who struggled against the status quo to contribute to a lasting social and political legacy for British women?

Eemily Wilding Davison

Emily Wilding Davison, the suffragette who essentially martyred herself for the women’s rights movement.

Whilst pondering this question, I stumbled upon a Guardian article which gave me further food for thought through its suggestion that women writers are still revered less than men in terms of their influence on authors. Apparently, when an Irish publishing house asked authors submitting manuscripts to name their literary influences, only 22% of the writers named were women- a fact which reinforces the editor’s opinion that the ‘habitual dismissal of women’ continues to be a large issue in the publishing industry. Although this statistic was only based on a small sample, it supports the general theory that women’s achievements are still regarded as less valuable than men’s in many areas of life.

The question is, how can we address this issue? In an ideal world, every British child growing up in the latter part of the twentieth century would have learnt about women’s suffrage and achievements as part of the National Curriculum, statues of important women would decorate the UK, and young women of the future would be encouraged to enter disciplines that have, historically, been dominated by men, such as the field of science. Whilst I have no doubt that some teachers and parents are educating girls about issues relating to women’s rights, and learning about women such as Emily Wilding Davison is now part of the National Curriculum, past and recent experiences have taught me that this is not happening on a broad enough scale. Simply put, there is a whole world of women’s history and a whole future of potential achievement that it seems young women are not being exposed to, partly, I believe, as a result of a societal failure to celebrate female figures of the past.

Of course, we still have a long way to go in terms of social equality, not just with reference to women, but to people from other cultures too (the ambivalent attitude to the refugee crisis currently dominating the news and social media is proof enough of that). Where the system fails us, however, we have to take control ourselves. If women’s history is always going to be on the periphery, perhaps the only way to make it part of common knowledge is to spread the word ourselves- by celebrating women of the past and present as often as we can, whether that be through recommending our favourite female authors, telling someone about an important achievement a woman has made, or even just sharing a story about a female relative, so that she doesn’t become just another woman ‘lost in time’, to quote Kate Atkinson (one of my fave writers!).

For those of us who might never be mentioned in a history book or immortalised as a statue, maybe that can be our lasting contribution to the world, a tribute to the women who came before us, and our legacy to the women who come after us.

At Ppankhurst Centre

P.S. Make sure you go to see the long-overdue film, Suffragette, which is out in the UK in October!

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