Chaucer Cameron (British Working Class Poets)

Chaucer Cameron

Chaucer Cameron is a poet and the author of In an Ideal world I’d Not Be Murdered (Against The Grain 2021) She has been published in journals, magazines, including: Under the Radar, Poetry Salzburg, The North and Tears in the Fence. Chaucer’s pamphlet is a featured publication at Atrium webzine 2022, and she was shortlisted for Live Canon 2021 International Poetry Competition for Single Poem. Chaucer is creator of Wild Whispers an international poetry film project, and regularly curates and presents poetry film at events and festivals. She is co-editor of the online magazine Poetry Film Live  

Website: www.chaucercameron.com
Twitter Chaucer @ChaucerCameron

 

The Strange Thing is No Bird Sounds

 

No pink-twink song, no light-distraction

from this steep and upward dance

from here to there the early edge of night.

 

It was past dusk, a woman selling goods

suggested I take her care, but I left it

a torch, on the pathway near the tollgate.

 

In the distance, knowing cattle. A rolling head

and water, there is always water; saints deliver

up the dead and the Virgin Winifred.

 

Halfway up, one quarter and a mile,

a voice above says, he be put to graze out

in good pasture, part man part cat 

 

this future leper at the window

this crawling charcoal burner

that had he not been exotic, he would

 

have been a tiller, settled, Kitnor dweller

knees to floor and prayer, a family full

until another purpose drove him out.

 

But leper at the window he was always

facing north and the hermit priest

whose feet took no forward steps

 

no services, died there by hatchet

laid out-stretched

before the other’s Eucharist.

 

Now harvest this, the dusk is passed

and the cast of morning rise, a valley lit

not by its parish lantern, but its fourth-month sun.

 

Beuno was a Welsh saint who rescued St Winifred from King Caradog.

Pink twink: another name for chaffinch, foreteller of rain.

Kitnor: an old name for Culbone.    

 

I Take Your Heart

 

New Year’s Day. A tired old man in a grey creased coat

delivered your heart into my mailbox. It was larger

than I’d imagined. Plump, smudgy, almost blue.

It moved the way you used to. Quick, quick, slow.

 

Last October was bleak, the willow had uprooted.

We’d gone to see the flooded brook, but found instead

a badger’s body, white and black, beside the trunk.

Each stiff claw rested like a piano key against the bark.

 

And now spring. It’s raining. I take your heart, wrapped up

in the Big Issue, walk from Neptune’s Fountain

along St George’s Road, notice for the first time

how meaty you smell, how hungry I am, starving for you.

 

I sit beside you on a bench by the Honeybourne Line,

wrap and unwrap you, grasp you between my hands,

hold your flesh to my face, feel for a pulse, watch for change,

listen for a sound, dying for the sight of you.

 

I TakeYour Heart  (Lighthouse: Issue 23)          

 

A Kiss for Three Seasons 

 

It was Summer when we kissed

1911 Brooklyn Bridge,

we hadn’t meant to, but we did,

from Mississippi

to the Rockies. 

                                Light aircraft overhead

hits the Hudson, kills the crew

paper clips its ghosts

to you, we were that close.

 

 

It was Autumn when we kissed

on the old suspension bridge,   

we hadn’t meant to, we just did, 

where the gorge cuts

through the ridge.    

                                Above us, all is colour 

balloons from the fiesta

cast shadows on our faces

we were that close.

 

 

It was Spring when we kissed

on the oldest living bridge,

we hadn’t meant to, but we did,

just as rain and

banyan meet.

                              You and me

all branch and leaf

a canopy of sky is reached

we were that close. 

 

A Kiss for Three Seasons (The North: Issue 63)  

 

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