Travelling North

No-man’s land, each moment a rosary bead
between what was, what will be:   

a man waves as the train passes, I lift a hand,
he and his dog shrink, fall away; 

a plane spools a white thread, a hundred bodies
cross a continent, time stretches while they sleep. 

Shadows congeal, a horse droops in a grey blanket,
a farmhouse with yellow eyes crouches in trees. 

I see hammered water, hills creased with streams,
antlers against cloud, a scurf of snow on the tops. 

This weathered land hardly registers our passing,
moves at the pace of rocks and mountainsides, 

we are irrelevant, and that feels good. 

by Jenna Plewes

Welcome back to the Weekly Poem! We hope you had a very good summer!

Join the Poetry Centre’s own ignitionpress, this week’s publisher, V. Press, and a host of our other Weekly Poem publishers like Seren, Sidekick Books, Nine Arches, Smokestack (and more!) at this year’s Free Verse: Poetry Book and Magazine Fair. The event, run by the Poetry Society and taking place in London on 22 September, promises to be a wonderful celebration of poetry in the UK. Three of our ignitionpress poets: Mary Jean Chan, Lily Blacksell, and Natalie Whittaker, will also be reading from their pamphlets.

Then do make a note in your diary to be with us at Oxford Brookes on 31 October for a special event with poet Jay Bernard. Jay will be presenting Surge, an award-winning multimedia project dealing with the 1981 New Cross ‘massacre’ – a fire at a birthday party in south London which killed 13 young black people. Tickets are free, but you must sign up in advance via the website. 

‘Travelling North’ is copyright © Jenna Plewes, 2018. It is reprinted from Against the Pull of Time (V. Press, 2018) by permission of V. Press

Notes from V. Press:

Jenna Plewes is a widely published and prize-winning poet. A career in psychotherapy and love of the natural world inform her work and she is at her happiest in quiet places, like the sea, mountains and moorlands. She and her husband live in Worcestershire, with their collie. They have two children and four grandchildren. She has two collections with IDP and her V. Press pamphlet, Against the Pull of Time.

You can read more about her pamphlet on the V. Press website, and more about Jenna’s work on her website.

V. Press publishes poetry and flash fiction that is very very, with emphasis on quality over any particular style. Established with a launch at Ledbury Poetry Festival 2013 and shortlisted in The Michael Marks Publishers’ Award 2017, V. Press poetry knows what it wants to do and does it well. Find out more on the press’s website

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.