publications

Lady Willendorf in Sarasvaki, Summer 2021
Polly Swallow, fisher-girl from Whitby in Sarasvaki, Summer 21021
God isn’t listening to me in Sarasvaki, Summer 2021
Toad Poetry in Sarasvaki, Summer 2021
What’s a girl to do? in Sarasvaki, Summer 2021
Wife of Fenrir
in Dawntreader, June 2021
Loss of love for a seahorse
in Dream Catcher, issue 43
Sea Witch
in Seaborne, May 2021 
Boudicca in Dawntreader, April 2021
Kalypso has questions in The Ekphrastic Review, March 2021
How will it end?
in The Ekphrastic Review, March 2021
Terentius Neo the Baker in Amethyst Review, February 2021
Burial Mounds in the Landscape in There is no Planet B Stafford Green Arts Anthology, February 2021
Geneology of Blood in Amethyst Review, January 2021 
Fox on the Allotment, Green Ink Poetry, January 2021 
Walking with Ghosts in the Abergavenny Small Press (ASP) Literary Journal, January 2021
Emergence in Visual Verse, September 2020
Accidental Loss
in The High Wolds Poetry Anthology, October 2020
Tide Breath Rising in the Tide Rises, The Tide Falls, October 2020
One of these days it’ll ‘appen in The Adriatic, September 2020


The Ekphrastic Review,
22nd March 2021
Kalypso has questions for Odysseus after Odysseus And Calypso by Frank Buchser (Switzerland) 1872 https://artvee.com/dl/odysseus-and-calypso-2/

Kalypso Has Questions for Odysseus 

Tell me, Odysseus, what will you do on your island? Mend nets? Stitch sails? Tell the wives of your men how you fucked your way home while their children were hungry?  What will you do, when the bones of Ithaka whisper my name? Know this, lord king, the tongue of my tide will reach you. You’ll have to stop swimming to silence it, stuff up its throat so the waves can’t speak, or breathe my name in your lungs.

Tell me, Odysseus, what will you think in your olive bed, its roots through the floor and arms out-stretched like vines? What will you say when she comes to you, with her broken nails and thin crone breasts? Will there be enough left?  Or will you make space for me? An itty bit of space, for me to slip in with a click of my braids, and the breath of my dress, falling, falling, fallen, down to the floor.

Odysseus and Calypso (1872) by Frank Buchser (Swiss, 1828–1890)

How will it end? after The death of Hector by Peter Paul Rubens (Belgium) circa 1630-1635 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Peter_Paul_Rubens_-_Achilles_slays_Hector.jpg  

Link to follow…

Achilles slays Hector (1630-35) by Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640)

Link to follow…


Amethyst Review
February 2021
https://amethystmagazine.org/2021/02/05/terentius-neo-the-baker-a-poem-by-sue-watling/ 

Terentius Neo the Baker

In the hour before dawn, 
he’s kneading dough, 
the colour of skin,  

slapping flat the thick balloon,
before setting it down, 
to rise like a breath,   

the room smells of history, 
desert heat, 
tents,
sheep,
and here they come:   

Eve, tired of squabbling sons, 
Sarah, welcoming Abraham home, 
Naomi, planning a road trip back to Bethlehem,  

Terentius Neo has no idea 
of the shadows he serves,
or how his bread will survive,   

carbonised medallion, 
branded with knuckle prints,
pulled from the guts of Vesuvius.


Green Ink Poetry 
January 2021 
https://www.greeninkpoetry.co.uk/poetry-collections/safe-guard-part-two

Fox on the Allotment

…and there it was
late afternoon 
skinny, pale, 
self-assured, 
slinking down the path 
with guilty grace,

the collision of our worlds
took my breath away, 
the day you messaged me, 
triple, breast, negative, 
the cancer had returned, 

if I could, I’d be a hound,
primed to track malignant cells,
rip their guts out,
savage them,

instead I left food, 
to feed the hungry fox,
while an intravenous line
dripped poison in your veins.


Abergavenny Small Press (ASP) Literary Journal
January 2021
https://www.asppublishing.co.uk/sue-watling 

Walking with Ghosts 

                walk
                                            walk 
walk

               across the escarpment,
               below winter skies, 
               the wind a wall
               to fight through,

 wild without                          wild within,

               he returns in dreams,
               brings feathers, rings,
               look,               here,
               soot pestled with ashes,
               scars, spiralled to serpents,
               winding across his skin,

               I was there, cutting with flint, 
               wherever he goes, 
               he takes the mark of my fingers,

walk 
                   wild                                   wild

                                     walk

               tilt of wind-bent trees, 
               rippled tarn, 
                         all remind me again, 
               how it feels 
               to walk with ghosts.


Amethyst Review
January 2021 
https://amethystmagazine.org/2021/01/16/genealogy-of-blood-a-poem-by-sue-watling/ 

Geneology of Blood

Clear skinned virgin,  
cusp of change,   

mother, counting the days,
no, yes, no, please, 

and here I am, cheeks creased 
like the back of your shirt,   

we are charms on a bracelet of age,
all red, red, say it again,   

red for danger, red for stop,
wild women, poisoned fruit,   

colour me red so I can be seen,
talk to me about blood.  


Spelt Magazine Advent Calendar Haiku
December 2020

crossing the river 
into a different country
cut through by train tracks 


The Tide Rises The Tide Falls
October 2020

Tide Breath Rising

Beyond the world of selkies, 
in the guise of fat slug seals, 
or gloss-slick mermaids, 

pink in the sun, 
tumbling curls, 
like foam topped waves, 

and sirens, throat-sore 
from singing, bringing you in, 
closer…closer…

our fate lies here, 
in the tide breath rising, 
higher… higher…

to drown in pockets of ocean, 
lungs squeezed like wringing hands, 
sliding into the mouths of fish,

down… down… 
to the sticky pink arms 
of anemones. 


High Wolds Poetry Collection 2020
October 2020

Accidental loss 

I lost an earring, picking damsons, 
a silver Celtic twist, inset with jet,
high on the Wolds it fell unnoticed
on a nettled strip of land between
hedgerow and ploughed field.

Distracted, waging war with thorns,
pointed barbs tearing skin, reaching high
for ash bloomed plums, my earring fell
in silent payment, as if blood were not enough
for robbing autumn fruit.

If you walk this way in years to come,
where leaves tinge with rusted gold,
as fields unfold the timeless view,
and church spires silhouette
against a metal glint of sea,

you might catch a flash of silver
on the uncut, nettled path,
and wonder where it came from,
like an accidental loss of flint axe,
narrow arrow tip, or folded disc of gold. 


The Adriatic Magazine
September 2020
https://www.theadriaticmag.co/issue-one-ocean 

One of these days it’ll ‘appen 

…one of these days it’ll ‘appen,
some young lass, 
not knowing our ways, 
will wash when we sail, 
or sweep through the house, 
or mebbie tek summat 
out of his bag 
once it was packed, 
or worse, she’ll sneak 
down to the dock 
to wave him off 
and step on a net, 
or mebbie a dekkie’ll 
sneeze on the left 
as we heft the tide,
or have egg for brekkie, 
leaving its shell as a cup 
for the sea-witch to sail in, 
one day it’ll ‘appen, 
knock on’t door, 
he’s lost at sea, 
like skipper was careless, 
or god fergot 
where he put him, 
one day, 
the call will come, 
from waves tall as moors 
and just as bottomless, 
mayday, mayday, 
we’re going over, 
give our love 
to t’lasses and bairns.


Visual Verse 
September 2020 
https://visualverse.org/submissions/emergence/ 

Emergence

Watch me emerge from the parts of my whole,
see me reach for the stars in a sun-centred galaxy,
spiral through lightless space, come closer,

let me show you inside, see, stones from the hem
of land fringing the sea, here you’ll find me, sifting
shingle for agate, pitted carnelian, pale Baltic amber,

cracking nodules for fossils, seeking out ammonite
whirls and twirls like labyrinths, look, insects, from my
plot by the train tracks, centipede, fly, a humbug bee,

borrowed from one of my colonies, come closer, put
your nose to the glass and breath, honey and wax,
all heaven exists in a hive, did you know that? So

what of the face, you ask, come closer, see, it’s a mask,
everyone wears one, I am the sum of my parts like a
poem, here is fire, air, stone for earth but wait –
              where’s water?
I need to add rivers or pockets of ocean…

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