Joe, Hugh, and I are publishing our third shared poetry pamphlet very soon. Our hope is to have it coincide with the Chalk arts and literary festival in Winchester, which starts on Saturday.
The Chalk Path is the final instalment in our trilogy of pamphlets, which began with The Inner Sea in 2012. Earlier this year we published, The Tide Clock. Publishing a shared collection is a great way for poets to collaborate on a project, experiment with the format, and inspire each other. You can also benefit from exposure to each other’s audiences.
While The Inner Sea began our journey at the ocean, and The Tide Clock continued our journey to the fringe of land and sea, The Chalk Path concludes our odyssey inland, drawing on chalk hills and paths known to us, as well as themes of blankness and absence. The cover painting of Danebury Ring is another by multi-talented Hugh.
Where we might go from here is an open question. The trio of pamphlets seems complete, at least for now, and we may concentrate on publishing independently, or collaborating in a different format.
An experiential exploration of movement within the landscape, taking you beyond maps to the cries of buzzards, the feeling of chalk dust on fingers and the glimpse of a white horse.
If You Fall In You Will Be Walking Home
Urban Bee Keeping
Living With a Writer
The Chalk Path
Garden of Opposites
The Lady of the Lake
Here’s one of mine from The Chalk Path:
Golden Cap is less brilliant now,
greenery mars its white pyramid, a sign
of climate change, or that our names for things
barely touch the things themselves.
We’ve always been walking this chalk path
and yet we take a Saturday out of the rush
of making our life the way we want it
before it’s over just to live. Just to feel
our footprints on the chalk, this blank grit.
The path we started on, an unfinished thread,
depends on billions of long-dead coccoliths
too small and short-lived to have ideas about living
yet they’ve shaped the land. Shy ammonites
also lie buried in this blank necropolis,
breaking free during an occasional storm.
Whether or not they ever came out of themselves
during their turbulent lives, they’re still here,
solid enough to walk on. It’s we who are ghosts.