Margaret Royall

Margaret’s passion for poetry began in early childhood. Retirement brought the opportunity to pursue her writing, giving voice to acute experiences of loss, grief and chronic illness. Her first poetry collection “Fording The Stream” was self- published Sept 2017 as Jessica De Guyat.

She has been shortlisted for Crowvus and Bangor Literary Journal poetry prizes  and her poems have appeared in journals, anthologies and webzines, amongst which Hedgehog Poetry Press, Crowvus, Mookychick, Word, Voices Poetry, The Blue Nib, Bonnies Crew and Pink Plastic House. Her short pamphlet “Singing the Earth Awake” has recently been published by Hedgehog Poetry Press. Forthcoming is her Memoir of Childhood  “The Road to Cleethorpes Pier” – a prose/poetry fusion scheduled for publication in May 2020 by Crumps Barn Studio.

Twitter: @RoyallMargaret, Instagram: meggiepoet, Website and blog: greasleycottage.wordpress.com

A POET REJECTS CAPTIVITY

Just clever trickery, an altered state of being,
not confining him within walls made from brick,
steel or factory-sourced materials but conjured
from the limitless bounds of his own imagination.
Physical boundaries mostly signify containment,
clipped wings, depression, stress… but not for him!
His mind floats free on rivers of milk and honey,
sailing the sky in bottomless boats, trawling
burning oceans to net the prize of a crimson sunset,
drawing down moon, stars and planets into
his tin can box, 5 metres square with sliding walls.
Closed eyes navigate ancient woodlands with
rare species untouched by climate change,
set him against gales that cannot excoriate human skin,
against lashing rain that leaves his prison suit bone dry.
For captivity is only a scourge if a prisoners wills it so…       
But he rejects it.

SPECTRAL REFLECTIONS

So when the plague came it brought us a gift
Suddenly there was time to go exploring
Eager to discover our long lost heritage
Day by day we pushed further, deeper
Excited to uncover a forgotten past.
We watched a green spring dawn
Trees blossoming, buds opening
Witnessing exquisite birdsong
Breathing in unpolluted air
Seeing wild animals return.
A miracle, we all agreed.                     
Was it a  sea-change?
Could we maintain it?
Hope sprang eternal
Once upon a time.
 
Once upon a time
Hope sprang eternal.
Could we maintain it?
Was it a sea-change?
A miracle, we all agreed
Seeing wild animals return
Breathing in unpolluted air
Witnessing exquisite birdsong
Trees blossoming, buds opening.
We watched a green spring unfold
Excited to uncover a forgotten past
Eager to research a long lost heritage.
Day by day we pushed further, deeper,
Suddenly there was time to go exploring.
So when the plague came it brought us a gift.
 
Postscriptum
 
Sadly we moved on and soon forgot
And now, too late, we have regrets.
The human memory is short,
We are a fickle race!
 
We are a fickle race!
The human memory is short
And now, too late, we have regrets.
Sadly we moved on and soon forgot.

TWO GHOSTS SEARCH FOR A POST LOCKDOWN EDEN

How still it is! Waiting measured in raindrop crotchets,
tapping out time like a metronome:
Calm before storm, day before night.
They drift like clouds, two shifting shapes in the rolling scenery
of a dreary winter stage, frost squeezing the breath
from their lungs, pale figures, poised for a great comeback.
 
How tense it is; breath exhaled in time with lightning quavers
launched from chthonic clouds,
thunder drumming out a marche funèbre.
Haunting voices whisper warped words, actors delivering
half-swallowed lines, waiting for an off-stage prompt,
arms outstretched like characters in a Shakespearean tragedy.
 
How great the relief as the spent storm shuffles out to sea,
relinquishing the sky to a sulphurous sun, tempering
the musical timbre of the setting.
Their presence still palpable, these ghosts emerge from stage left
to play their part again, costumes discarded, true identities exposed,
Adam and Eve, desperately searching for a new Garden of Eden.

CHINESE WATERFALLS

Rumbling roar of torrents tumbling
over tough cliff-edge rock face.
Rushing rivers hurtling to dark downfall,
Screaming into chthonic chasms below.
 
Ehuang and Nuying remain watchful -
Proud goddesses of the Xiang River,
calling to the waters of the mighty course
to take care: Pride comes before a fall!
 
Feathered plumes of spangled spray
shoot upwards like festival fireworks,
masking the fronded foliage and sleek
trunks of tall birches with silvered bark,
 
symbols of strength, confidence, elegance,
starkly contrasting mountain waterfalls,
where water hurtles headlong over metamorphic
rock, sculpting fringed pelmets of melting ice.
 
Screaming into chthonic chasms below
Rushing rivers hurtle to dark downfall
Over tough cliff-edge rock face with
Rumbling roar of torrents tumbling…tumbling

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