Clair Chilvers was a cancer scientist, and latterly worked for the UK National Health Service.
She divides her time between writing and volunteering for the charity Mental Health Research UK that she co-founded. She lives in Gloucestershire, UK.
She has had poems published in online and print magazines including Agenda, Allegro, Amaryllis, Artemis, Atrium, the Ekphrastic Review, Impspired,
Ink Sweat and Tears, the Poetry Atlas, Sarasvati and Snakeskin. She won second prize in the Poetry Kit Ekphrastic Competition 2020 and her poems have
been longlisted or commended in the Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Prize 2020, and Poetry Kit Competition 2020.
Her first collection When We Come Out of the Darkness (Frosted Fire) will be published in 2021. www.clairchilverspoetry.co.uk @cedc13
My room on the quay a stove, a bed with shelves above a hook for my clothes everything shipshape the window floor to ceiling overlooks the harbour beyond it the open sea today it is calm, blue the horizon a faint line of blue on blue a fishing boat chugs out busily piled high with lobster pots beyond it a yacht becalmed last night the wind howled I could see nothing but the white of the spray breaking over the harbour wall caught by the street lights I was that yacht buffeted by waves breaking over the bow under staysail, alone, willing myself to resist the sanctuary of the harbour on a lee shore.
Jane poses as Persephone
(inspired by Proserpina- Dante Gabriel Rosetti) I lay awake in my room above the stables thinking of the man I met that night. I rolled his name around my tongue – Dante Gabriel Rosetti They seduced me by their promises of a world away from the stink and steam, of a life unfettered; to be their model, mistress, muse. Rosetti told me of Persephone of her seduction by Pluto who let her free, but she had eaten the pomegranate seeds. I always wondered – did he come to me in the summer of that year, the year after he had painted me, to make her story ours?
The faded snapshot marks a page in an old travel guide to Southern Africa. She is taken side-face wearing a cream linen suit a white shirt and a solar topee. In the background the light aircraft that will fly her to a remote camp in the Okavango Delta. She will end up at Victoria Falls kayak down the Zambesi avoiding hippos and crocodiles as she negotiates the rapids. That evening she will wear a backless sequinned dress to dance dangerously on the terrace by starlight. On a dimly-lit hotel wall she will find photos of her great-uncles, who escaped an English seaside town to sweat in crumpled khaki shorts the hotel half-built behind them, and understand her wanderlust.