J.S Watts

J.S.Watts is a British poet and novelist who weaves the fantastical and the literary with other vibrant strands to create glowing, multi-faceted writing.

Her poetry, short stories and non-fiction appear in a wide variety of publications in Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the States, including Mslexia and Popshot and have been broadcast on BBC and Independent Radio. She has edited various magazines and anthologies and performed her poetry across England, Scotland and Wales, but not yet in Ireland (should anyone from Ireland be reading this).

 J.S.’s two poetry collections, Cats and Other Myths and Years Ago You Coloured Me, are published by Lapwing Publications, as is her multi-award nominated SF poetry pamphlet, Songs of Steelyard Sue. Her latest poetry pamphlet, The Submerged Sea, is published by Dempsey & Windle. Her novels, A Darker Moon – dark literary fiction, Witchlight and Old Light– paranormalare published in the US and UK by Vagabondage Press. 

For further details see her website: www.jswatts.co.uk

Labyrinth

I construct my world with care.
As you enter no word is out of place,
but, perhaps, not quite where you'd expect to find it.
Come in further and admire.
Praise my creation and its artifice.
Applaud the intellect required;
the well chosen word and depth of thought,
the neat turn of phrase at every corner,
the well timed elision.
As we pause meaningfully
at a certain conundrum
to absorb its complexity
you will catch no sign of the artificer.
She is well hidden amongst the verbiage.

I am enamoured of obfuscation.
It reveals the hidden
whilst concealing it from the world.
I revel in obscurity.
I play tag amongst the synonyms,
remain cryptic behind the clues.
Riddle me, riddle me, if you can.
Buried deep within my womb of meaning,
centre of the maze, I am
safe from you and what you'd make me.
Your interpretations cannot hurt,
your translations cannot bite:
I am translated already -
a word amongst many.

Catching Glimpses of the Sky

Today is even,
a day of delicate balances maintained.
Today I will not go down where the dark things are.
I will lift my head off the pillow,
continue the sweet process of living.

There are days when I cannot manage that,
when I lie down where the dark things are,
never want to raise my head again.
Plunging so deep I cannot recall the days
on the other end of the see-saw:
 
the days when the sky shines backwards just for me,
the sun’s fires yearn behind my eyes
and I can do anything, anything at all,
raise the dead, walk on water,
anything except walk the line

between heaven and hell that others call life.
So I take the drugs that keep the air
smiling the right way up. I choose life,
but I still search the mirror’s deep, trying
to catch glimpses of blue electric sky.

Home and Returning

I am still 
in a travelling place:
the uncounted, borderless unspace 
between leaving and returning,
between returning and coming home.
No longer there,
but not quite here; not quite,
but still not.
Uncertain of where and maybe who
I am.
A lost soul stretched between growing distances,
changing seasons and deceptive hours,
days of holding my breath,
seeming lifetimes spent exhaling 
the dearly held air
of abandoned place
yet lost in an instant
until the unseen pull and push 
of daily routine kneads
my oddly resistant and lumpen dough
into some kind of certainty once more
and the unconscious reclamation of a self
I had thought misplaced
along the way back 
from home.

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