David Ratcliffe

David is a poet, playwright, lyricist and short story writer from the North West of England.

He is a member of the international poetry study group Worldly Worders.

He has been published in a number of magazines both on-line and in print.

In 2016 his poem ‘Home Straight’ featured at the Fermoy International Festival.

The stage play ‘Intervention’ was produced for World Peace Day.

The main influences on his writing include; Ted Hughes, Ann Sexton, W. D. Snodgrass, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, James Baldwin, Pablo Neruda and his favourite poet Philip Larkin.

His poetry has been published in the following publications…
Poetry Pacific Magazine, TRR Poetry, Sixteen Magazine, Mad Swirl

Tulip Tree Review (Print Version) Oddball Magazine, Poem Hunter, THE BeZINE, Creative Talents Unleashed, Drawn to the Light Press, Live Encounters & The Galway Review.

His poem ‘He Crawled’ was placed third for the Pushcart Prize in the Blue Nib magazine in 2018. Also, in 2018 his poem ‘Pour me a Vision’ featured in VatsalaRadhakeesoon.wordpress.com for Dylan Thomas Day.

His debut collection ‘Through an Open Window’ was released in August 2021.

David’s website contains poems from his book, along with new works intended to find a home in a future collection.

https://david-ratcliffe.squarespace.com/

Edge of Morning

Outcast’s invade noir dreams;
pretenders to reality,
the departed mocking mankind
moving the earth to cut itself.

I the victim chained to falsehood
seeking redemption for cryptic injustice
chase refracted light into darkness,
with intention lost to fear.

Witnesses to deception
claw at fibres of warped morality,
whispered voices echo truth denied,
as I pay homage to fantasy.

Travelling to the golden age 
held in tin-pot setting,
tarnished yet accepted
held high among phoney gods.

Deeds done reflected in eyes that mock
teeth sharpened on lies
chase me to the edge of morning
where those deceived bring me back.

The Highest Branch

I can hear the clang of the hoop 
as I hold the hand of a cooper of old
the yielding of staves 
as your sweat sprays on shavings.

I am there as you push a barrel-laden handcart
tubs strapped to your back
on a ten-mile journey 
door to door, 
tavern to tavern,
to feed a family of seven 
a wife, two sons, three daughters
one my grandma.

You are the highest branch I have reached
along the continuum of lineage
that spawned two generations before me;
the limb from which blood flowed
to the furthest pulse.

Between us, we spanned three centuries
linked from the moment
my tiny fingers 
wrapped around the crags 
of your living hand.

Any knowledge of your nature,
was passed down;
hard but fair, they say,
though my recall is of grey whispers 
and slow, troubling snuffles.

Your ninety years crossed mine by four;
all but blind, you smiled in my direction
a tiny shadow with the voice of a mouse.

You will be forever warm 
below the deadwood,
those, hidden behind names 
you knew through life,
the ones I cannot reach.

But you, Daniel Moran, live in me, 
the thud of your hammer beats on
as my heart will beat in those that follow.

Such as it is

Erudite voices weaken
their echo ever distant
as I follow, as they fade
afraid to lose the final whimper.

The journey stretches and leans on me 
I become disillusioned
dwarfed by giants
though as I gather what remains,
I forge ahead 
following the sound of me!

It’s become more noticeable
as it amplifies one decibel at a time, 
ignoring the voices not my own 
though taking something from each.

Such as I know it, 
I must nurture my voice
now I have rescued the echo of it.

The resonance rising within me 
comes from those left behind
as I bounce back with mine 
such as it is…

The spit roast turns 
ancients filter through as the earth burns
as it shakes, and its boils burst.

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