Two poems by Kaddy Benyon

The Blue Hour

This intense, clear pristine blue
that in any other mind could be turquoise,
aqua, a warm clear sea around a Grecian

isle. Here, lodged just under the arctic,
where temperatures quiver
between untouched and ruined,

this particular blue is of loss, absence;
of warped and distorted reflection.
This blue: my unasked for familiar, rises

and swells – thick liquid in a frozen
weather ball, bent on measuring
the blackened seasons. This murderous

blue that unnerves and disturbs, snuffs
out the family on the other side
of the door: their candlelit laughter,

dish-clink and squabbles; the scents
of spiced wine, baking leipäjuusto
and luke-warm cloudberries collapsed

in their golden syrup. My guts growl
like a forest animal; a lone roaming
she-wolf severed from her young, loping

beneath a slice of frost-cut moon. Don’t
let me circle this version of blue,
stray too close to the hunter’s track,

get trapped between brackets of gunshot,
silence. Don’t let me fall in snow-
drifted white, knowing no other colour.
Midnight Trees

I watch you kick off your pumps,
peer inside the havoc of your room

to enjoy you drinking a blue glass
of milk so urgently, noisily, it dribbles

down your neck, makes you sputter.
Later, in the garden, we dress

our midnight trees until snowfall
makes dust of our chattering.

You blink twice, link my arm, whisper
Sauna? I nod and you sprawl

on the wooden ledge beside me,
all barely there breasts, a new dark

between your legs, each pale limb
lengthening, sapling-strong,

to ladder the slatted walls. Your hot
upturned face may be smiling

as I touch your damp hair sticking
to my thigh. Treasured girl;

middle child, how I envy the handfuls
of snow you hurl on the wicked-hot

coals; that flicker of relish in your eyes;
the steam-veil you draw between us.
Kaddy Benyon’s first collection, Milk Fever, was published by Salt in 2012. She was subsequently funded by Arts Council England to write her second collection, Call Her Alaska, written during a residency at The Polar Museum in Cambridge. Kaddy is currently editing Call Her Alaska, which is a contemporary re-imagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen. Many of the poems where written during a research trip to Northern Finland. Twitter @KaddyBenyon