Fall – by Hannah Stone

 

First snow. Less hyperbolic than forecast.
So it may be with fall out; the punters get things wrong.
The daily pattern continues. People rise,
shower and dress and break their fasts
whatever latitude they inhabit.
In this neck of the woods
the sun did not deign to show itself,
but emails are answered, cats fed.
Conversations with tongues and thumbs brought no solace.
As daylight seeped back over the horizon
a bowl of apples needed peeling,
and whichever bits of them were lovely, and of any virtue
I sliced and cooked.
We will still eat, and sleep,
and wake to find the nightmare still around,
and search again, tomorrow,
for whatsoever things are true
or just or pure or of good report
and keep on looking.
And don’t expect divine intervention
to make a difference. It’s our job
to find the tools or make new ones;
man is the animal that does this.

 

 

 

Hannah is a writer, forager and hill-walker who lives in Leeds. Her first solo collection Lodestone was published by York-based Stairwell Books in 2016. She finds poems in landscapes, people-watching, galleries and libraries as well as the usual love and death stuff. She won the 2016 Geoff Stevens Memorial Prize.

Please see our website for details of the helpline – by Hannah Stone

 

For Jenny Hill

She saw dust rising from rubble,
Tears streaking down cheeks.
She smelled escaped gas,
The ruptured sewer.
She heard screams, sirens,
Heavy lifting equipment.
She adjusted the earpiece
So the signal was optimal.

She spoke of the international response,
Of a wall that had fallen,
Exposing a dining room expecting
A family gathering, not this.
She spoke of the fine glass vase
That trembled, unshattered,
On the table.

She went home.
The door had all its hinges in place.
She poured hot water
Onto coffee grounds.
She observed that as she pushed the plunger
Her hand started to shake,
And her ribcage writhed,
And her throat spasmed with dry sobs.
She noticed her cheeks were wet
And later she sat very still.

 

 

 

 

Hannah is a writer, forager and hill-walker who lives in Leeds. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University. Her first solo collection Lodestone was published by York-based Stairwell Books in 2016. She finds poems in landscapes, people-watching, galleries and libraries as well as the usual love and death stuff. 

Definitions of a Shipwreck – by Hannah Stone

 

5pm – unusual time for him to text.
Just seen a professional. Confirms I have serious issues.
Too drained to talk tonight, if you don’t mind.
I was patient, tried not to hassle him.
Twisted the ‘commitment’ ring he’d placed
on my third finger three months before
to remind you what you mean to me.

Channels of communication closed, one by one.
The telephone seemed out of bounds, at least
until he’d got his head into a better place.
My pulse raced when his name pinged
into my inbox, but there was little enough to read.
Eventually, I got the drift.

Jetsam: part of a ship, its equipment, or its cargo, that is purposely cast overboard or jettisoned to lighten the load in times of distress, and is washed ashore.

A turbulent time followed, fear
mostly flooding hope, though both
bobbed up and down on the waves.
I clutched at straws. Finally, he roused himself,
spelled it out blatantly.

Lagan: goods or wreckage that is lying on the bottom of the ocean, sometimes marked by a buoy, which can be reclaimed.

I offered alternatives, compromise.
A patch of grass beside the bench is seared
into my memory, marking where I sat
when I last heard his voice.
I asked about the ring, which I’d swapped
from left hand to right. Silence
was eloquence, or was the signal breaking up?

He posted back my housekeys,
bundled the designer dresses
into cardboard cartons
that hi-jacked me at work one morning,
blocking up the postroom.

Derelict: cargo that is also on the bottom of the ocean, but which no-one has any hope of reclaiming. May also refer to a drifting, abandoned ship.

To casual observers, the whole affair was probably just
Flotsam: floating wreckage of a ship or its cargo.

Note: the definitions given here of different types of shipwreck wreckage have particular status in maritime law.

 

 

 

Hannah is a writer, forager and hill-walker who lives in Leeds. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University. Her first solo collection Lodestone was published by York-based Stairwell Books in 2016. She finds poems in landscapes, people-watching, galleries and libraries as well as the usual love and death stuff. 

Heading Home – by Hannah Stone

 

The tube is somnolent at six am,
the odd drunk slumped across two seats
whirling round the circle line;
strapholding backpackers perform with thumbs
their morning liturgy of status updates.

The clattering upward rush of escalators
ejects me onto the concourse,
blinking-bright shopping mecca
packed with passport-clutchers
choreographing wheely cases into pole position.

A clutch of hopefuls air-kiss greetings, crane
to check the departure boards – Brussels, Paris, Lyons.
I dodge gleaming puddles on a rainy taxi-rank,
traverse another crowded plain,
board a train back to the emptied north.

 

 

Hannah is a writer, forager and hill-walker who lives in Leeds. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University. Her first solo collection Lodestone was published by York-based Stairwell Books in 2016. She finds poems in landscapes, people-watching, galleries and libraries as well as the usual love and death stuff.