December poems part 5: Karen Dennison, Tina Cole, Rebecca Gethin


Artwork: Archie Dunbar McKintosh


Clumps hoodwink the bushes;
a drudgery clings to the tree, muffling
its limbs. She moves unseen.

Her hands and fingerprints crumble
to powdery snow. A windfall fills
her footprints. She uncouples

from all she knows, freezes over.
People look through her –
she’s becoming a ghost. She sleeps

under a crumpled duvet of snow,
clumps shovelled up at the roadside
in the morning. Her voice shatters,

flurries wordlessly through air, separate
and together, like flocks of white birds.
Mute, invisible, she haunts the streets

as if immortal. She remembers the edge
of something, a childhood drawing
that flutters around the blind spot of vision.

She blows her name and the name
of her brother across her palm
into whirlwinds of snow.

She passes the roadside cross
for a fallen mother, the ragged rotten
sodden flowers encrusted in snow.

Tears are glittering snowflakes
that surprise her cheeks. There is stifled music;
a father and daughter whistle an Adagio of snow.

A child’s face glows like a full moon
from a car window, wanting, not wanting, to go. Snow
slips down the pane, slurs the street lamps’ halos.

Karen Dennison

Published in poetrywivenhoe 2011 and Counting Rain.

Karen’s first collection Counting Rain was published by Indigo Dreams in February 2012.  Her poem Wayfaring was recently commended in the Second Light Poetry Competition 2013.


Artwork: Sophie Harding



Late November
…….days beaten from brass,
…….the grass long covered
…….by a litter of birch and beech,
Come with me, step away from the rush
…….into the forest hush where holly spikes
…….defy the winter song, bright berries
…….young as folly.
There is no one to hear as the year
…….fades away, each day drawn out, oh so slow,
……. – a slowing pace.
A metal sky flecked with old rose –
…….let us close the gate on it, the long tongue
…….of the lock shifts its’ weight
…….and licks it final click into place.
Days pass, celebrate, as snow patterns
…….on glass and the clock with its’ ghostly
…….click, click, clicking; snow deepens
…….like a sauce thickening.
Church bells peel the New Year,
…….the edge of hope unwinds in long looping coils,
…….like midges dancing a soporific reel.


Tina Cole’s publications include: Aesthetica Review- Issue 9, Ragged Raven Poetry, Losing the Edge: Blinking Eye – Blood Line. Magazine publications in Mslexia,  Aesthetica, Red Ink, Decanto and David Morley’s Poetry Workshop as published in The Guardian. She belongs to a small group of writers called The Border Poets and is involved in a number of local readings and poetry festivals.


Artwork: NancyvandenBoom

Winter nights

Outside the house with its fire-lit room,
curtains closed, light leaking from slits,
this quadrant of the universe is layered with meanings,

as though The Plough were stored above the little stone barn
and, to take aim with his bow,  Orion with his belt
had to kneel in my vegetable garden. A gibbous moon

frosts the ground,  its gaze searching
through the library of stars – their  narratives
hidden when rain dawns.

Rebecca Gethin

Rebecca Gethin lives on Dartmoor. She is a creative writing tutor, a gardener and runs a market stall. Her poems have been published over the years in a variety of magazines and just recently in anthologies: Exeter Poetry Stanza’s Making History, Moor Poets  vol 3, Lines under Water, The Broadsheet.  Her poetry collections are: River is the Plural of Rain (Oversteps Books, 2009);  A Handful of Water (Cinnamon Press, 2013). Her second novel, What the horses heard, is to be published by Cinnamon in the spring of 2014. Click here for her website.

6 thoughts on “December poems part 5: Karen Dennison, Tina Cole, Rebecca Gethin”

  1. Three more inspiring poems – thank you poets and Abegail for these and the stunning illustrations you’ve chosen. Maybe The Shed could publish a little Winter Warmers pamphlet?

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