“Split, Twist, Apocalypse” is available to order!

I’m so excited to announce that that my debut collection “Split, Twist, Apocalypse” is now available to order! Yesterday I “had a moment” when I signed the first copies (with my special signing pen), took them to the post office and sent them out into the world. It’s such a busy time in my life at the moment, I have to make sure I take these moments in!

My current challenge is answering the question “so what’s it about”? A very hard question to answer when it comes to poetry, and I tend to blether, “Oh, life, magic, gods, science, stuff…”! I think I’ll just photocopy the eloquent blurb that Ronnie at my publisher Indigo Dreams wrote onto slips of paper and hand them out. Take a look at the blurb below to let Ronnie tell you all about it!

Split, Twist, Apocalypse Cover

Anyway, if that blurb (and not my blethering) grabs you, and you would like to see some sample poems and/or order a signed copy, visit the “My Books” page on this website! (And if you can’t do PayPal for any reason, email me, and I’ll send you my bank details.)

Cover Reveal!

I’m absolutely flippin delighted to announce that my debut collection “Split, Twist, Apocalypse” published by Indigo Dreams will be OUT OUT OUT on July 18th! Details of how to order will follow shortly, but in the mean time – here is my GORGEOUS cover!

Stephanie

Stephanie

I blew it, said Stephanie,
picking Weetabix clods from her hair
in the light of the burning bureau
as the cat smoked.

I should have listened, she said,
as the threads of her lawn unknitted
and the house found a new equilibrium
behind Tesco.

Of all the people, she said,
to be trusted with this decision!
The crust shrugged and heaved.
Magma rose.

 

If you enjoyed this poem, follow me on Facebook @parmenterpoetry, on Twitter @ninaparmenter, on Instagram at @nina.parmenter – and please join my mailing list!

Geranium

I thought I had better write a tribute to the only flowering plant that consistently survives my “gardening” – bruises, amputations and all.

A geranium in my garden

Geranium

We understand each other,
me and this ballsy bloomer,
roots as deep as a cheap sandwich,
leaves all thick fists down the alley.

It thrives on my perennial neglect,
dies every day in a new ugly,
screaming ‘Cut off my head, you big nelly!
Pass me a pickled egg and slap me.’

Sneering down at reedy violas –
Bosh! It steals sunlight from the needy,
coming again and again like a prop forward
throwing up to make space for a bevvie.

Red-faced, white-faced, pink-faced,
fat cheeks every colour of pushy,
broken nose flourishing with hubris,
it mocks every nibbling beastie.

Oh, but it is beautiful,
bruising through each new lobotomy,
a rolling maul of carousal.
A lover. A fighter. A softie.

 

If you enjoyed this poem, follow me on Facebook @parmenterpoetry, on Twitter @ninaparmenter, on Instagram at @nina.parmenter – and please join my mailing list!

Hallelujah

Fire and Ice

This was last year’s attempt at a Christmas poem, and it didn’t exactly come out very jinglebellsy – although it does use the word “Christmas”! With this in mind, I’m keeping it well away from Christmas and posting it in May. Enjoy!

Hallelujah

The angel stood on the patio,

his feathers buttered and heavy.

He was not the angel we’d had in mind.

He was winter with a blown halo.

 

He was the sum of our moods – hot and popping,

spitting in fire like pigskin.

He was white ash and burnt marshmallow,

crick-cracking. His smile was an ice-flow.

 

He turned once. He kept turning.

He was a Christmas fairground.

We threw roasting-nuts. We won nothing –

just the sizzle-spin of his eyebrow.

 

Round and round, wings greasy,

muscles strained, steaming and sallow,

he yelled like a Mexican wrestler

until the hail came. Hallelujah. 

 

Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

If you enjoyed this poem, follow me on Facebook @parmenterpoetry, on Twitter @ninaparmenter, on Instagram at @nina.parmenter – and please join my mailing list!

Mother to Mother

It’s surprising how often one or two words can spark a whole poem. In a workshop, I was encouraged to think about or research some wonderful words to do with the shore. It was actually the words “chert and flint” which sparked this poem – and no, they’re not a pair of 1970s detectives, they’re the materials found in pebbles such as these in Seatown, Dorset.

The resulting poem, “Mother to Mother” is told in the voice of that great mother, the sea. She is speaking to a human mother, who may or may not be me. 😉

Beach at Seatown, Dorset

Mother to Mother 

At my shore, where you are drawn to grow lighter,
I load my spring currents with new stones to shine.
I grab steely chert,
pale flint with pleasing speckles,
nuggets of crumby sea-wall.
They are mine. They are mine.

As you lift your teary son from his waterlogged wellies,
you smile at how weighted his jacket now is
with stripey-lined feldspar
and palm-ready axe-heads:
soothing jewels to line his bed with.
They are his, they are his.

Some days, I admit, I take swipes of red cliff-mud,
with or without a caravan thrown in.
But I am a caretaker,
a guardian of mixed treasures.
I smooth jagged edges.
We are kin, we are kin. 

This poem was first published by Reach Poetry (Indigo Dreams Publishing).

The workshop that inspired this poem was run by the very inspiring Anna Saunders.

Photo by me, at Seatown in 2021. One day later, the cliff you can see behind the rocks collapsed in an enormous landslip, hence the “swipes of red cliff-mud”. The boy on the rocks belongs to me 😉

 

 

Oxbow

This poem was written for a “Geography” themed issue of the poetry journal Allegro Poetry. And so, living the dream, I was able to write about the profound sadness of a relationship break-up, whilst drawing metaphors from my GCSE Geography days. Awesome.

Oxbow

We meet by the river
on a Wednesday lunchtime,
to the disapproval of your dry wife.

Sandwiches are eaten
from square lunchboxes,
and we talk about the shapes we used to make –
but not all of them.

“Do you remember,” you say,
“how you used to come out with my words
before I’d even thought them?”

And I think about the river, and how,
when it curls round and finds only itself,
there is a reckoning.
A cutting of the slack.

 

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Autumn in a Call Centre

 

Just an everyday workplace tale…

Autumn in a Call Centre

 

When the boss gave out autumn in home-made envelopes,

sour yellow and sellotaped,

the Success Team withered.

“But we stuck to the script,” they choked.

 

The boss said nothing, but stood

scratching her back against the photocopier,

her breath a hot slug of paprika.

HR looked up a policy, then shrugged.

 

When they opened the envelopes, November knifed them 

with its stiff north-easterlies,

red maple leaves spreading from their chests.

They dropped to the floor, rotting.

 

The boss stepped over them in her wide-fit stilettos,

her face waxy, like a butternut squash.

“The shoes,” she hissed. “You all wore the wrong shoes,”

and she walked out into the April sky, wheezing. 

 

 

An earlier version of this poem (then called “Autumn in an Envelope”) was published by Snakeskin Poetry.

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Pillowdrunk

These days, on Friday nights, are you drunk? Or are you pillowdrunk?

Pillowdrunk

The last thing you drank was tea,
it bubbles and stews in your centre,
the saucer swings, and you blend to
leaf-patterned fug. You see,
you’re drunk on a breath of dark,
thrown by the shape of your pillow,
skin down to blood down to marrow,
heaving. Blankets start
to swaddle your reeling heart,
snagging you safe for the journey,
but sleep doesn’t come. Too early.
You’ve waves to ride. You are
red sand on a roaming dune
ready to scatter and fall,
a sailor with nowhere to call,
a fish in the cup of the moon
waiting to drown.

 

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Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Nettle

Ah, nettles. August walks wouldn’t be the same without these special friends would they? Grrr.

Stinging nettle

Nettle

Nettle…
after the apocalypse,
you, with your pain suit and your stealth roots
will survive –
a zig-zag scrap of hope
(at least for the butterflies).
But, though I know you to be
a sleeping saviour,
unwavering in the face of eco-calamity,
I still loathe you.
Viscerally.

There you stand, waist-high,
all shouty trousers,
the glad-swaggering big I,
your two-bit tendrils lunging brashly –
just an overgrown irritant
acting rashly.

And beside you,
the dreary dock leaves
paddle-faced and dead-eyed
clutch their scout badges tight and simper:
We’re really VERY sorry.
Come, crush our worthless bodies
to ease your blisters.

 

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Image by analogicus from Pixabay