Mavis Gulliver, Cinnamon Press. Published October 2015.
My waymarks are the milestones of my life – places, experiences and observations that have affected me in some way. Occasionally they lie dormant until something triggers a memory and brings them back to life. Others have had such a profound effect on me that I have immediately put pen to paper and preserved them in prose or poetry.
Places can be anywhere and on any scale – a mountain top, a bluebell wood, a deserted beach. Some are recalled for their beauty – a landscape under snow, a waterfall, an island sky at night. Others are remembered as locations of holidays or because a particular plant or animal was seen there.
Some experiences are transitory and easily overlooked. Often these are clues showing that something has happened in a particular place. They may be seed heads telling of earlier flowering, or empty nests suggesting that chicks have hatched. They may be even more fleeting, like an otter’s trail that disappears when the tide comes in.
There are intense observations too, things that pass without leaving a trace – the song of a bird, the flight of a butterfly, the glimpse of a deer in the undergrowth. Too fleeting to capture on camera they remain in the memory as clear as any photograph.
It is from waymarks such as these that my poems grow.
From the back cover:
‘Delighting in the sound of language, this highly layered and lyrical collection gathers threads from nature and memory to explore the natural world; the marks we leave on it and it on us. Intense observation is underpinned with a passion for seeing not just the surface of things, but to the heart. This is a collection filled with quiet wonder and exquisite precision.’
For my dad
Time passed and I forgot the envelope labelled in your precise hand, ‘Welsh Poppy seeds from my garden…for yours.’ Forgot the fine dust filtering through my fingers, settling on stubborn soil. Three years on, the ache of your death has dulled…a little. I have learned to speak of you without weeping. Now you are back, you…and your poppies. Pendulous buds expanding, shaking out their creases, opening bright as suns, spilling yellow petals seeds memories.