where the oyster

I’m very excited. My pamphlets are back from the printers. I’ll be seeing them for the very first time on Thursday.  The collection’s called Where The Oyster Was. Here’s the title poem…

Where The Oyster Was
(Her Serene Highness Makes A Shell Border In Her Hayling Island Garden)

A chap called with a barrowful, wanted
sixpence for the lot. We sealed the deal with
Tio Pepe, toasted Canada’s prince.
See how the outside froths, like my Papa’s
cuffs did once, before they shot him  – and rough
as the storm last week. But stroke your thumb here:
inside it’s silky as a pulse. These lines
are tidemarks in a zinc tub (do you see?)
Or horseshoes of cheap seats, up in the gods,
in a tiny arena, where I’d give
recitals. I’d be exactly there, where
the oyster was. And this cream cumulous,
marble-white and Quink, is my lungs’ shadow.
They’ll make a pretty edging, n’est ce pas?

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About claire collison

Writer, photographer, creative facilitator, and breast cancer survivor, I am currently Artist in Residence at the Women's Art Library (WAL) My first novel was a finalist in the Dundee Book Prize, and my short stories and poetry have appeared in print and online. In 2015 I was awarded second place in the inaugural Resurgence Prize, the world's first eco poetry competition, judged by Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. This blog began as a space for words generated on my walking/writing workshops at the Mary Ward centre in Bloomsbury - Writing the City (WTC). WTC has since grown to include many other venues, including the Museum of Broken Relationships, the Barbican, the River Rom, Southwark Woods, Aylesbury Estate, and most recently, as part of Walking Women festival, An Intimate Tour of Breasts. I have worked with Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, as the recipient of the first Max Reinhardt Literacy Award, designing teaching resources; and for The Photographers' Gallery, helping school children develop visual literacy as part of 'Seeing More Things'. If you would like me to design a workshop or walk for you, please be in touch!
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One Response to where the oyster

  1. Carmel says:

    Ooooo. I liked that! Want to know about those cuffs, too…

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