This month’s poem ‘Connections’ features in ‘At the Storm’s Edge’ the debut collection by Frank McMahon, published by Palewell Press. Acutely observed and laced with arresting imagery, his work has been praised for the way it revels in a keen sense of the natural world and a stark understanding of humanity’s fragile place in the broad sweep of history. Frank, who chairs Cirencester’s Somewhere Else Writers, began his career in Social Work/ Welfare, working for three local authorities, the British Red Cross and Action for Children. He also served as a school governor for nine years. His last full-time post involved setting up and managing a SureStart Children’s Centre. He said: ‘There is nothing like working with and for young children. They constantly teach you to look at the world with fresh eyes and be open to new experiences.’
Palewell Press is an independent publisher handling poetry, fiction and non-fiction with a focus on human rights, social history, and the environment. ‘At the Storm’s Edge’ is available at Waterstone’s and on Amazon, or can be ordered directly from the publisher.
To read more work by Somewhere Else Writers go to: somewhere-else-writers.org
By Frank McMahon
Did it start as we helped to build the stooks
of wheat, the terrier ratting in the furrows?
Or going with our uncle to the river’s tongues,
to stand astride the narrow channels
pail in hand as the tide flowed out,
invite the fish to enter? Or the journey
early morning on the horse-drawn cart
to take the churns of milk to the gathering place?
Hands rooted in loamy soil, routed from farm
to garden, connections to necessities,
taken in like morning air
or stroke of wind on cheek, neural,
microrizal symbiosis, budding now
in the beads of sweat and gathered fruit.