I am contorted in this pixie bed,
querulous with your story-time heckling,
your hair-splitting curiosity,

craving monikers for the anonymous,
under-wrought woodland chorus. 

You uncradle the slumber torch,
shadow dinosaurs on the ceiling.
I origami my palms into a pinned
butterfly, flapping for dear life,
an unforgiving crocodile on the prowl. 

Bare soles walk the primrose walls,
cold as the rind of the retiring moon.
You complain, no matter how many times
I tuck your feet back into the duvet,

they kick off the blankets to freeze.  

Your sleights of procrastination,
delaying the damnation of bedtime,
the bane of these pristine years,
is why I lie beside you, drafting
magpies until your sleep is composed. 

I peck your apple cheek, dented
with the dimples you inherited
from no one. That Sid James chuckle
nipping at the corners of your mouth,
the rifts between your milk teeth.  

Nos Da. Are you near or are you far?
You sing your callow kiss, dawdling
the drumroll of its hum. You perch
it with the flourish of a conjuror,
unleashing the dove from the pan. 

by Rhian Edwards

This is the final Weekly Poem for a while – we’ll be taking a break over the summer – but we’d like to thank you very much for reading and also thank all the wonderful publishers and poets that we’ve featured over the last year. If there have been any poems you’ve particularly enjoyed, we encourage you to seek out and buy the poets’ books! The Weekly Poem will return to your inbox on Monday 3 September.

But whilst you’re waiting for the next instalment, why not enter our competition? The 2018 Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition is open for entries for only two more weeks – until 6 August! There are two categories – Open and English as an Additional Language – and the winner in each category takes home £1000. This year we’re delighted that our judge is the highly-acclaimed poet Kayo Chingonyi. You can find full details and enter via our website.

‘Kiss’ is copyright © Rhian Edwards, 2017. It is reprinted from the pamphlet Brood (Seren Books, 2017) by permission of Seren Books.

Notes from Seren:

Rhian Edwards is an award-winning poet and noted stage performer. Her first collection of poems Clueless Dogs (Seren) won Wales Book of the Year 2013, the Roland Mathias Prize for Poetry 2013 and Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice 2013. It was also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Her pamphlet of poems Parade the Fib (tall-lighthouse), was awarded the Poetry Book Society Choice. Rhian has also been a winner of the John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry, winning both the Judges and Audience award. Her poems have appeared widely in journals and magazines and she has performed her work worldwide at festivals and events. Broodis an illustrated pamphlet with pictures by Paul Edwards, and features a long poem in ten parts inspired by the mnemonic for spotting magpies: ‘one for sorry, two for joy’ and detailing the breakdown of a marriage and the birth of a child. You can read more about the pamphlet on the Seren website, find more about Rhian’s work via her own site, and follow her on Twitter.

Seren has been publishing poetry for 35 years. We are an independent publisher specialising in English-language writing from Wales. Seren’s wide-ranging list includes fiction, translation, biography, art and history. Seren’s authors are shortlisted for – and win – major literary prizes across Britain and America, including the 2014 Costa Poetry Prize (for Jonathan Edwards’ My Family and Other Superheroes). Amy Wack has been Seren’s Poetry Editor for more than 20 years. You can find more details about Seren on the publisher’s website and follow Seren on Twitter and on Facebook.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.

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