Iron Fe, 26

The living haunt each other,
spooning hungry partners
in cold beds or hanging out
on the top stair, composing
silent songs of their despair.
And there are people who
attempt to draw them
one by one up to the light:
each yielding its unwieldy
unbelieving self, like iron shot
that forms in unison towards
a magnet’s covert warmth;
and gleaming as newly cut,
at last it stares back.


When their hearts and bodies
ached, they imagined beings
able to transcend toil
only love made tolerable;
and the hurt, embryonic wings

reluctantly unfolding from
sore shoulders like burgeoning
horse chestnut leaves.
More cloister bat than angel
these mute creatures

summoned in desperation
can’t offer hope or salvation;
but they’ll sit with you all day
though you refuse their comfort –
until you’re less lonely than them.

An earlier version first published in Ink, Sweat & Tears, August 2017 – with thanks to Editor Helen Ivory. Also in my debut chapbook, Wish (Maytree Press).

Please support Poetry in lockdown

I had such plans! I was going to attend readings and events, meeting people and sharing my poetry. Such is life.. the most important thing is to be safe and to help other people to be safe.

If you enjoy my poetry, please consider buying my collection Wish, available online and also directly from myself. It is £7 +pp

I would be happy to sign my collection, and for another £2 I can add a limited art card featuring the original cover art painting by D Coldwell.

If you would like to go ahead and purchase Wish from me, my Paypal link is: 

Many thanks for reading this post

Best wishes, Katerina

Ashes (first pub. by Algebra Of Owls, and in my collection Wish)

The Ash is common enough –
with keys the wind misplaces
and in winter, velvet leaf buds
that recall those long

black gloves I wore,
to trace your trembling
outline – neck to hip
and down a little more.

Its fissured bark is
a history of cuts, as if
the past can be sloughed
like a worn out coat.

As green leaves fell
I glimpsed a woman
in the golden copse,
or maybe a hare.

First published by Algebra Of Owls 2018

Bluebell Woods ( first pub. by Riggwelter #25, and in my collection, Wish)

Bluebell Woods

The midwife wears navy,
for rational solicitude.
It’s not a mother’s blue,
not like the singing river
you followed here
to this little cot;
not like robin’s eggs
or forget me nots.

Neither the blue of icy
roofs on moonlit nights,
when unremarked snow
settles as you breastfeed
in the hallowed dark;
nor the cerulean music
of celestial spheres.

Not longing displaced,
that vision doesn’t mediate.
When her visit’s over
she’ll depart, with
careful chat and data.
You can lock the door
then and let the walls

breathe out, a home
subsiding imperceptibly
along cracks wide
as the entire terrace.
A neighbour’s clock
straddles the wall
and your embrace

now you recall, how
your newborn looked at you,
as she was lifted from
the womb – a changeling
with silver eyes and
otherworldly gravitas.

Bruised bluebells
writhe from pint glasses
and cups, towards
the cobalt light
of half drawn curtains;
exuding a milky sap
and clinging scent.

Lost in motherhood’s
enchanted bluebell woods,
you are almost alone.
Not car exhaust blue
of the absent father;
speeding away
over a pale blue hill.

Thanks to Editor Jonathan Kinsman, for kindly publishing Bluebell Woods.

Icarus (from Wish)

Where did you go
when you’d engraved
these words into the spring’s
herb covered rock;
drink and forget yourself.

Did you slake your thirst;
your journey ebbing
in content oblivion:
did you start again
or waste your days

trying to assuage
survivor’s guilt;
selling yourself to
shoot up in a squat,
in Bodrum or Kos

another Icarus
who lost his way
over the sea, bereft
of everything except
the will to be free.

The Conscript’s Report (from Wish)

I was on leave that day.
The mountain air seemed
to pulsate, as if
a multitude of wings
flickered – an altered state.
A cast off snakeskin
from a tree hung
like a warning.

I met a stranger on
the hidden way,
who asked me strangely
– with a sidelong gaze –
to take great care.
After our goodbyes
I turned to watch him go,
but he had vanished.

Noon’s a haunted hour.
I reached the cove
where streams slip icily
like eels into the sea.
Exhausted by the heat
I wanted to wade in
but I could not – instead
I stood transfixed:

what waves there were
lapped silently to shore;
and the distended tide
appeared to glitter
with a menacing allure
that pulled me in
but I resisted – focusing
on a white boat, far west.

Finally, I lay down
on the burning shingle.
I woke to find a giant
lizard watching me,
it’s face near mine.
When it retreated
to a broken wall,
I set off for my swim.

I waded in and pulled off
a panicked length,
avoiding shadows
cave and depths beyond
the shallow seabed;
picturing arms trying
to pull me under,
as I powered along.

Then, I sat on a flat rock
and cried, till nightfall.
The news reported
more drowned refugees.
Autumn gave the beach
its mourning weeds
– sea grasses, dark and bleak –
while gulls lamented.

Places of Poetry anthology

I’m thrilled to announce The Places of Poetry anthology, edited by Andrew McRae and Paul Farley will be launched on 1st October, National Poetry Day 2020.

My poem Crows was inspired by Haslam Park in Lancashire; and by my experiences of otherness and of somehow not belonging. This is why for me at least, it is especially meaningful to have been invited to participate in this wonderful project and event.

I hope you join us for the launch, tickets are free – see you there!

Pandemic- A Community Poem by Muse Pie Press

The international Community Poem that I was thrilled to participate in is finally live – really pleased to have been invited to contribute to this incredible project featuring 220 poets from 16 countries.

“Compiled and crafted by R.G. Rader, publisher of Muse-Pie Press, the poem represents a range of emotions and thoughts on how this pandemic has affected our lives and our world. There is also a recording of R.G. Rader reading the poem.”