Margaret Royall

Margaret‘s 1st poetry collection ‘Fording The Stream’ appeared Sept 2017 under the pen name Jessica De Guyat.

She was shortlisted for the Bangor Literary Festival and Crowvus poetry prizes in 2018 and her poems have appeared online, in journals and anthologies, most recently Hedgehog Poetry Press, The Blue Nib, Impspired and forthcoming in Sarasvati.

May 2020 saw the publication of her memoir of childhood ‘The Road to Cleethorpes Pier,’ a Haibun fusion of prose and poetry.

In July 2020 she won Hedgehog Press’ Full Fat collection competition and ‘Where Flora Sings,’ was published November 2020.

Margaret leads a women’s poetry group in Nottinghamshire and performs regularly at open mic events in person and online.

PILGRIMAGE TO A FAVOURITE TREE

I cherish our unspoken 
friendship. We do not need words,
we are as one soul

Your sturdy trunk has
multiple offshoots, swathed in
trailing ivy braid

Solid branches reach up
skywards, towards pure light, 
sense of place so strong

As I run my hands
across your rough, tough gnarled bark
I hear sweet birdsong

Friend, you have stood here
for many a year, and will
be here when I’m gone

Generations will
pass you by, yet sadly not
love you as I do.

As April rain falls
sap rises green in your veins
Majestic you rise.

GAIA’S GLORY

With homage to Gerard Manley Hopkins

Give praise for Earth’s amazing artistry;
Field, forest, fjord fanned like rainbow runes.

For creatures soft-striped, spotted, finned and winged,
Fresh-fallen nuts a-plenty, swallows in flight.
Meadows moody and mellow - cow-licked or clover-filled.

And country artisans, equipped with craftsmen’s gear…
All that delights and puzzles, seeks to please,
Whatever strikes the ears and eyes (a myriad things)

So fast, free, furious, fickle, alive and bright - 
She nurtures us, Earth Mother beyond compare,
                  
Praise her!

Solstice Sunrise Viewed from Inside a Henge

No torches     velvet darkness dominates
black as molasses                 impenetrable
We sit crouched inside the henge
          waiting 
                  waiting  
                      focused solely on reclaiming the light
 
We hold our breath            watching
         hearts thumping rhythmically
                     like jungle drums down a distant path
 
And then         a long-awaited miracle
through a slant opening        the first glimmer
of effulgence in all its power
 
Moment by moment the radiance grows
accelerating         stretching out
      touching shivering fingertips
 
It is as though sky and earth are one
 
Silence     We are struck dumb 
this unfathomable miracle
cloaks us in Solstice magicke

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