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Poetry Focus On: JESSICA MAYHEW


Eyewear is very glad to feature a poem today by Jessica Mayhew.  She is a 22-year-old student with a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Creative Writing. She will be studying for a Masters in English Literature at UCL this autumn. Her poetry and fiction has been published in magazines such as Staple, Coffee House, Cadaverine, Seventh Quarry, Party in Your Eyesocket, Cooldog and Hearing Voices. She has given readings, including at the Southwell and Ledbury poetry festivals. Her first pamphlet was published in 2012 by Crystal Clear Creators, and is titled Someone Else’s Photograph. It is available from the Crystal Clear Creators website.

Jessica Mayhew, Young British Poet
My Grandmother’s Grandfather

I watched her dream back to Lerwick,
her chair hollowed to fit her,
printing withered lips on water glasses
the shade of the sand on Muckle Roe.
She dammed the North Sea there
with wet, gritted handfuls
and mouse-earred chickweed
shuddered white,
sky dark as an under-wing.

Down on the aer,
above the rush and kurr of the waves,
fish bellies bloomed under thin blades.
She told me everything she knew about salt,
how it split her mother’s fingers,
waiting for her father to surface.

Land-locked, we watch at the window,
for the crooked flecks of gulls
fussing over scraps on deck
like bright drops shaken from an oar.  
Through washing lines, roof tiles
his sea-voice floats, stiff with spindrift,
I’m still here, come find me

poem by Jessica Mayhew; published online with her permission.

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