New year poems from Helen Ivory and Ayesha Chatterjee


Artwork: Dana Bordelon

What the Snow Said

Saints watch open-eyed
as I plenty the air
with intolerable light.
You scoop handfuls
of flesh,
moulding me in your image.
You wished for me,
guided me here
with prayer and with song.
Gravestones peer
from my hands
like rotten teeth.
Go to sleep child,
I will free the world
of its clanking.


Helen Ivory is a poet and artist.  Her fourth Bloodaxe Books collection is Waiting for Bluebeard (May 2013) She has co-edited with George Szirtes In Their Own Words: Contemporary Poets on their Poetry Salt 2012.  She teaches for the Arvon Foundation, The Poetry School and mentors for the Poetry Society. She edits the webzine Ink Sweat and Tears and is an editor for The Poetry Archive.


Bob Coles

Artwork: Bob Cole



Don’t underestimate the skill of blankness.
The beauty of exquisite intent, when multiplied
into a universe, can be a terrible thing, weighted
and pure. Watch how it stills perception into memory,
whole cities at a time, like bullets, like babies’ breath,
the gods of the new century put implacably
in their place, the sun the jewel in its crown.


Born and raised in Kolkata, India, Ayesha Chatterjee has lived in England, the USA and Germany. She now resides in Toronto. Her poetry has appeared in several magazines  including nthposition, Autumn Sky Poetry, Magma and The New Writer. Her first poetry collection The Clarity of Distance was published in 2011 by Calgary-based Bayeux Arts.  She has a poem forthcoming in Eyewear Publishing’s global anthology, The Poet’s Quest for God; 21st Century Poems of Faith, Doubt and Wonder.

13 thoughts on “New year poems from Helen Ivory and Ayesha Chatterjee”

  1. Lovely Shed, wonderful words, wonderful pictures. As an ex-Torontonian I’m always very glad to read work from someone who lives there. Thank you! xx Caroline

  2. Two more great poems and wonderful artwork – when I think I don’t like winter it turns out work like this – thank you poets and Abegail. Your Shed has been brimful with inspiring surprises during this bleak season.

      1. Here in Canada, we are having snow, snow and more snow, and
        cold, cold and more cold …. so this series of poems and artwork has cheered me up through the long night part of the winter: it’s felt like a celebration of the seasons. and an acknowledgement.of their importance. The Poetry Shed does a great job 🙂 Thanks. (I hope your wet weather in the UK moderates soon.)

  3. Thanks for having me on this, Abi–and in great company too! Shout out to the other Canadians/ex-Torontonians out there. And I just read the comment about research? Goodness. Really?


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