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Poem by Camellia Stafford

Eyewear is very glad to welcome Camellia Stafford (pictured) to its pages this Friday. She is one of the younger London poets now emerging who is worth reading and attending to.

Stafford was born in Warwickshire. She studied English Literature and Language at King's College London, and has an MA in Art History from the world-famous Courtauld Institute of Art.

She received a commendation in New Writing Ventures 2006. Her poetry has appeared online at Limelight. She has published a collection with Tall-Lighthouse, in the pilot series overseen by Roddy Lumsden, Another pretty colour, another break for air.

As befits a poet who has studied the visual, her work is sensuous, peppered with images, and enriched with colour. I look forward to her next collection.

Before a mirror, I kneel to tend my face

Cache of gloss and brushes, gel and cake,
my make-up bag, ritually unzipped reveals
silver encasements. Each bares use marks,
fingerprints of peachy foundation stippled
with tinct dusts, clouding the metallic shell.

Squat, in front of a cloudless looking-glass,
I vanish capricious shadows with a solution
of flesh, reliable in hue, coverage and set
by the powder pad's sweeps and presses
into every pore, tier and recess of my face.

Mantled with blusher, a silken brush swirls,
its powder blossoms flower on my cheeks.
Sponge applicator plunged through lustred
cream, strokes lips into a pearlescent glaze.
Candies perfume the next breath's confetti.

Possibilities of colour volunteer my eyes.
Lidded chamber of rose and aquamarine
shades tempt me with matte and shimmer.
I twirl my finger in their haloes applying
one, then another from the palette's rosary.

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