Poetry: Light by Rachel Bower
Rachel Bower’s “Light” takes residence in the calm back of the throat between breaths. From her choices around line break and caesura, to the unforgettable image of the “dawn-woman”—who of us is without a dawn-woman inside?—Bower crafts a poem for the pause we all need.
I was searching for that pause
when I saw the woman from the tent next door
sitting on a camp-chair at dawn drawing deeply on a cigarette.
She was inhaling the last of the night
feet on cool sand a moment of rest.
Four kids still slept in dark nests
deceptively quiet unaware
of this dawn-woman in their mother.
I was careful not to catch her eye
at the surprise crescent moon and linen sky.
sprites were stretching in lilies
butterflies unrolling new wings water people
spooling indigo wool and unravelling pale silk.
I observed all this
of lime-flower air and cotton tread
before the birth of the day
and the gentle return of the in-breath.
Rachel Bower is a poet and Research Fellow at the University of Leeds. Rachel co-edited the anthology, Moon Milk, with Helen Mort (Valley Press, Nov 2017) and her book, Epistolarity and World Literature, 1980-2010 was published by Palgrave Macmillan in October 2017. Her inaugural pamphlet, Moon Milk, will be published by Valley Press in May 2018 and she is currently working on her second monograph, Transnational Collaboration: Poets of Leeds and Nigeria Unite, 1950-1970. Rachel’s poems have been published by Stand Magazine, BBC Radio, Frontier Poetry, Now Then Magazine, Valley Press, Three Drops Press, The Stare’s Nest, Pankhearst and others. She has a PhD in English from the University of Cambridge, reviews regularly for journals and magazines including Stand and Wasafiri and performs her poetry widely. Rachel is also the founder of Verse Matters, a feminist arts collective in Sheffield. https://rachelbowerwrites.wordpress.com // @rachelebower