Margaret Royall

Margaret was shortlisted for the Bangor Literary Journal and Crowvus poetry prizes in 2018. Her first collection ‘Fording The  Stream’ under the pen name Jessica De Guyat appeared September 2017 and her poems have featured in many journals and webzines under her own name, most recently The Blue Nib, Hedgehog Poetry Press and Impspired.  Hedgehog Press published her micro chapbook October 2019  ‘Singing The Earth Awake’. Her prose/poetry memoir of childhood ‘The Road to Cleethorpes Pier’ written in the style of a Japanese Haibun, was published May 2020 to great acclaim with Crumps Barn Studio. Also in May  her interview with poetry editor Tracy Gaughan was featured in The Blue Nib.

Margaret has recently won the Hedgehog Press’ poetry collection competition and this second collection will be published in 2021.

In Nottinghamshire Margaret leads a women’s poetry group and is a member of four local writing groups. She performs regularly at Writers Live in Nottinghamshire.

MEET THE AUTHOR SPECIAL EVENT

Lindum Books, Lincoln, are holding a ‘Meet The Author’ evening  online on Friday 9th October  7-8pm with Margaret Royall as special guest, she will be in conversation about her recently published memoir The Road To Cleethorpes Pier. Tickets are available from
Eventbrite.co.uk/e/120398399855 price £3.

SONNET FOR THREE SACRED OBJECTS

I linger here, hoping I may invoke
Healing from angels clothed in chakra cloaks,
As reverently they stand knee deep in prayer
Like holy monks in robes with tonsured hair.
Close by a goddess sits and waits alone,
A Maltese lady, carved from ancient stone.
Her face is blank, no mouth, no ears, no eye,
A replica perhaps from times gone by.
Alongside stands a wise and cherished tree
Of Eden, juicy apples dangling free.
A Wise Man’s star on high, a fitting crown,
It  feels like Paradise is smiling down.
So patiently these precious objects wait
To open up for me Nirvana’s gate.

A BOX OF PRECIOUS SECRETS

Inside a drawer in grandma’s house I find
A secret box with tokens from a tryst
Still wrapped in silk cloth, sealed with rosebud twine
 
Victorian postcards, simple, honest, kind,
A silver ring he must have often kissed
Inside a drawer in grandma’s house I find.
 
My heart stands still, it’s clear how much he pined
For her, exploring memories of bliss,
Still wrapped in silk cloth sealed with rosebud twine
 
A photo of them sitting, arms entwined
Her hair untied in strands of golden mist
Inside a drawer in grandma’s house I find
 
Two hearts in decoupage both linen-lined
With spidery writing, hard to catch the gist
Still wrapped in silk cloth, sealed with rosebud twine
 
I sense that love was always on their mind
And tremble as I touch this precious gift
Inside a drawer in grandma’s house I find
Still wrapped in silk cloth, sealed with rosebud twine.

IN SEARCH OF THE QUEEN OF DALRIADA

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The track is steeped in morning light where.
newborn fantasies leap from shadows.
A light breeze lifts the flap of my canvas bag,
where miracles are deftly stored away
from harm, ready for dispersal on the wind -
rescue remedies for doubting pilgrims..
 
I pause at the Sheila-na-gig, its pagan outlines
carved into ancient stone. My finger mentally
traces the female Yoni high above my head.
Then on into the Christian nunnery, eager to
find more miracles, hidden from prying eyes;
priceless island treasures.
 
Rounding the corner I see her there, sitting on
the bench in the corner, diamonds in the stone
reflecting Nature’s wonder in her eyes, a
paler blue than her school ma’am cardigan
paired daily with the thick tweed skirt.
She turns her face to the weak sun,
finding perfection, delight in just being -
a few precious moments to gain clarity for
her archivist’s mind, now muddled by life.
 
I remember the face in the flagstones I saw
when we were first together in the Abbey.
She never forgot that, thought it was maybe
Jesus, although there was much more she did forget,
that last year she came. That was her swan song,
at peace, wrapped in a cloak of island comfort..
 
I join her there on the bench, bathed in the glint
of lewisian gneiss, with the chanting of the nuns,
the midnight bubbles still blowing round her head.
Releasing the catch on my bag I open it wide
and watch the miracles fly into her lap.
She is forever Queen of Dalriada– I am just
another pilgrim seeking to bottle the elixir of truth..

*   Dalriada, Irish Dál Riada or Riata, Gaelic kingdom that, at least from the 5th century AD, extended on both sides of the North Channel and composed the northern part of the present County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and part of the Inner Hebrides and Argyll, in Scotland

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