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Best of Irish Poetry 2009
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CRISTINA NEWTON

 

 

Cristina NewtonSpanish-born Cristina (Navazo-Eguía) Newton first published two full-length collections, La Frontera and Rutas de Largo Recorrido, in her native language, with work also included in five anthologies. She now lives in Britain, where she is learning her second poetic language. Some of her English poems have appeared in journals and found a place on the shortlists and longlists of Strokestown, Bridport and Aesthetica. Recently she has organised the Battered Moon Poetry Competition linked to the Swindon Literature Festival. She is involved in adult education, community radio, flamenco singing and raising her three very lively children.

 

 

 

 

September, Ravensroost

 

 

Like a kissing gate I close to open.

You go through many times, in all seasons.

Your hips brush the rosehips,

you are offered the oval red.

You need to keep watching out for the mud,

with the noise of your offspring at your heels.

Nettles favour the sides of the paths

and ply their self-defence to someone’s agony

because our children turn deaf ears

to our warnings. The few berries you’ll find

have mistaken the months

and dried before ever turning sweet.

This was a garden made for you

which tends itself without your knowing:

growing the stems, shedding the seeds,

burying the failed under the forest debris.

The wood sustains the wreck, the wear and tear

of passage, and the depressed fractures

collect the collapsed clouds

in slurred puddles: mongrels of rain and dust.

The blackbird has been peddling Persian flutes,

though local robins do not bother with metaphors,

they deliver what they’ve been given,

and the rest of the birds know better

than allowing themselves to be caught

in the helter-skelter of our movement.

We get faint, thirsty and hungry,

but what there is to eat we dare not touch:

In the shade I stoop to the fragrant mushrooms,

I kneel to consider their symphony

of tidy, devoted gills, the loyal stem,

the delicate skin of the pious dome-cap,

but in my ignorance can’t tell food from poison,

and you’ve walked on with the children.

Following the circular route

has taken you back to the beginning.

This one is the folding in of a strange summer.

 

 

©2010 Cristina Newton

 

 

Author Links

 

Announcement of Newton's Bridport Longlisting

More about the Swindon Literature Festival

Purchase Red Ink, including more Cristina Newton poems

 

 

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