Two poems by Rebecca Gethin

Renny – 1961

Even then, I knew my performance as a primrose
wouldn’t impress. But as soon as the bell clanged
we played wild animals. We’d be at it on the floor,
some crawling on all fours, others writhing,
all of us snarling or growling. I guessed
he’d notice my sabre-tooth-tiger impression:
I knew how to act long fangs, had the prowl off to a tee.
I’d studied the picture and practised. Anyone would guess.
He stood watching me for a while, hands on hips,
smiled at me. But all he wanted to do was to rough up Bert
and I can’t remember now what animal he was.

(published in Lighthouse)


                the fields are bolts of cloth
wrinkling with birds
until a stray thread is pulled
and half of the flock
folds itself over the other
               to crease and quarter
new ground
while trees on the margin
are thick with their singing
               till out of nowhere
the whump
of a thousand wings takes off
in one beat
               not one stitch
touching another
a spindle of starlings
rise up in their thousands
               a hank of black thread
drawn from the weave

(published in Moor Poets anthology vol 3)
Rebecca Gethin lives on Dartmoor. Her second poetry collection, A Handful of Water was published in 2013 by Cinnamon Press who also published her two novels, Liar Dice and What the horses heard. New poems have recently appeared in various magazines and also in anthologies, notably Her Wings of Glass, (Second Light) and The Very Best of 52 (Nine Arches Press). She works as a gardener, runs a portable children’s bookshop and runs poetry workshops from time to time.