Monday, December 05, 2011

poetry snapshots: andy humphrey




The Green Man




Each evening, his labours at an end,

the green man

catches the number ten bus

and makes his silent way

through the glistening, lamplit streets.



I didn’t realise

it was him at first,

muffled under moss-coloured wool

and capacious, earth-stained coat.

But that musk gave him away:

the autumn-scent of crumbling bark and badgers,

brown as leaf-litter, heady

with mushrooms, moss and leather. The air

tastes of tilled earth as he passes.



I sneak a glance

when he’s not looking, try to make out

stray twigs poking

from under the cap, the stubble-fuzz of lichen

on his jowls, the weatherbeaten

crags of brows. I picture great fat hands,

hoary, ripe as apples,

curling up hedgehogs into puffballs,

scuffing truffles, turning insect-teeming logs,

bedding in horse-chestnuts until spring.



In cracked grey hobnails

he disembarks like rustled leaf-breath.

A flavour of loam and windfalls

lingers in the air behind him:

the must of seasons turning,

festivals,

harvests.




Andy Humphrey is a freelance writer, part-time law student, trade union activist and former research scientist. He has lived in York for the last five years. His published output includes nearly 50 poems and a number of short stories and he writes his own opinion blog, The Poet's Soapbox. He has won numerous awards for his poetry including six First Prizes in national and international competitions. He spends much of his time promoting up-and-coming writers as a competition judge, poetry slam organiser, and MC of The Speakers' Corner open mic night in York. His writing is heavily influenced by his favourite things which include twilight, fairy stories, English and Celtic folk music, and single malt whisky. His proudest achievements include surviving three years in Milton Keynes, and his ambition is to prove that Dragons really did exist, and possibly still do.


You can read more about Andy and his writing here.

Friday, December 02, 2011

poem and photo: it was a day





It was a day

It was a day when planes flew low in the sky
a beautiful day that tasted of sandalwood
a day for a busker tapping on a xylophone
the low sound trailing me through the streets
it was a day to take a name like Elizabeth
a day for sewing up a day like no other
and tucking it into a warm pocket.





I wrote this poem at Helen Cadbury's writing workshop at The Little Festival of Everything.
Photo taken by Chris in St. Ives.