Laura Potts is twenty-one years old and lives in West Yorkshire, England. Twice-named a Foyle Young Poet of the Year and Lieder Poet at The University of Leeds, her poems have appeared in Ezra Pound’s Agenda, Poetry Salzburg Review and The Interpreter’s House. Having worked at The Dylan Thomas Birthplace in Swansea, Laura was last year shortlisted in The Oxford Brookes International Poetry Prize and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She also became one of The Poetry Business’ New Poets and a BBC New Voice for 2017. Her first BBC radio drama Sweet The Mourning Dew aired at Christmas 2017.
Oh my, on Windy Ridge: the distant burst of bells and mist
still brings a rag of laughter where the scraps of you exist.
This the pastel-crag; the cliff that carved a Chaplin-grin,
remembered ever-infant far beyond this darkened wind.
And past the winter’s dripping chin, I glance at what once
must have been and which we never noted: the scythe of sun
upon the sky; the buzzard omen-throated; the sleeve of trees
that waved goodbye; and one more death for which to die.
Forever as the shepherd’s hook pulled up the dusk and ever-dark,
when far-off foxes coughed the frost and laughed that more must be,
beneath the dropping eyes of stars that fought that winter to the last
was always you and me. The storm departed from the sea; the war from we
whenever through the cold-bone blue of mist came you, chin uplifted on
the winds in wedding lanes we never knew. Until in this the airfield age,
with planes that screamed the world awake, we felt again the fist of truth:
sleeping in that infant rain stood one more crooked tooth. These the graves
that ever grew to guard the isle at night, the bones beneath them ballroom-bright
that fight the thunder and the tide, and bend and beg surrender to decline
their ebbing heads. And with the herrings overhead, remember this instead:
that somewhere as the embers fled, a minister took to his bed and only ever dreamt
the dead. Oh never will the waiting world forget the winters, blue-of-birth, that
never wake the sleepers here: ever in their slumbers at the first snow of the year.
© 2018 Laura Potts