Somewhere Else Writers (SEW) January 2021 Frank McMahon

Frank McMahon

A Covid-inspired poem by Cirencester writer Frank McMahon is featured on the Ciren Scene website this month. ‘It was as if’ is one of three works by Frank chosen for inclusion in ‘Can you hear the people sing?’ an anthology of poetry and prose written in response to the pandemic. Frank said: ‘the anthology features voices from around the world, tragic, worried, resilient, humourous, poetic, reflective. They all give evidence of the shared humanity, which helps us survive and keep going.’

For many years, Frank’s career was in Social Work/ Welfare as a practitioner and manager, including work for three Local Authorities, British Red Cross and Action for Children. He also served for nine years as a school governor.

He is married with two children and six grandchildren.

His first volume of poems, ‘At the Storm’s Edge’ was published in January 2020 by Palewell Press. He has also written plays for Corinium Radio, short stories, and a children’s novel.

He said: ‘Somewhere Else Writers’ Group has played an important part in developing my writing’.

To read Frank’s poem, go to cirenscene.com. To read more work by members of somewhere else go to somewhere-else-writers.org. ‘Can you hear the people sing’ is published by Palewell Press at palewellpress.co.uk.

By Frank McMahon

We fled to the forest and the hills,
dug ditches, erected palisades, set
sentries at intervals around. And waited.

Messengers came with news of deaths
and from the temple, orders,
prognostications, warnings

about infiltration. Strangers we sent away.
We waited, looking sideways at each other,
fed ourselves as best we could.

Then we saw, as if we had new sight,
 that dew was making brush strokes revealing
what we had overlooked: white blossom

of hornbeam and chestnut, the sky wiped
clear of mote and cloud. The land
filled with birdsong, larks and mewing kites.

For some this was world was new,
gilding their watchful stares with smiles
and startled revelation.  

For us it was an older world returned,
the backdrop to our childhood’s careless
pass through. Now we walked more

slowly, attending and exploring,
the air tense with fret and wonder,
almost a time of innocence returned.

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