Bluebell Woods ( first pub. by Riggwelter #25, and in my collection, Wish)

Bluebell Woods

The midwife wears navy,
for rational solicitude.
It’s not a mother’s blue,
not like the singing river
you followed here
to this little cot;
not like robin’s eggs
or forget me nots.

Neither the blue of icy
roofs on moonlit nights,
when unremarked snow
settles as you breastfeed
in the hallowed dark;
nor the cerulean music
of celestial spheres.

Not longing displaced,
that vision doesn’t mediate.
When her visit’s over
she’ll depart, with
careful chat and data.
You can lock the door
then and let the walls

breathe out, a home
subsiding imperceptibly
along cracks wide
as the entire terrace.
A neighbour’s clock
straddles the wall
and your embrace

now you recall, how
your newborn looked at you,
as she was lifted from
the womb – a changeling
with silver eyes and
otherworldly gravitas.

Bruised bluebells
writhe from pint glasses
and cups, towards
the cobalt light
of half drawn curtains;
exuding a milky sap
and clinging scent.

Lost in motherhood’s
enchanted bluebell woods,
you are almost alone.
Not car exhaust blue
of the absent father;
speeding away
over a pale blue hill.

Thanks to Editor Jonathan Kinsman, for kindly publishing Bluebell Woods.


I pick a path by grey-light
to grave 8 at Vedbaek
on the moon’s far plateaus,
among its arid lakes
and crumbling catacombs.

Here is the Mesolithic
mother laid to rest
six thousand years ago,
cradling a child with
two knives by its side

borne with a final blessing
on a swan’s great wing –
to reach eternal Spring.

mother maiden crone anthology pic
An earlier version Published in ‘Maiden Mother Crone’ an Anthology edited by Katie Metcalfe, Slice Of The Moon Press (2020)