Roy Marshall

the poet

Roy Marshall's publications are Gopagilla, The Sun Bathers (shortlisted for Michael Murphy Award), The Great Animator and After Montale – these most recent three all published by Shoestring Press. Roy is a former coronary care and research nurse now working in education.

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the poems

The Weight

00:00 / 00:46

My friend, Christine
the beekeeper, tells me 
that honey is heavy.

How heavy? I ask, and Chris says
arm-achingly so. Later, 
I Google the heaviness of honey,

find that a gallon weighs 
one and a half times as much 
as the same volume of water.

And so, I think about 
the curation of sweetness; 
how it requires

so much more strength
than the nurture 
of its opposite.

Trace

00:00 / 00:51

My fingers walked 
to the fourth intercostal space. 
This is where I placed 
the first gel-backed tab. 
The next went


opposite, across the sternum, on the nipple line. 
Easy then to make 
a descending arc, attach the leads 
until a trace appeared; 
the heart. Unlike in films


when it stopped for good
the line was never completely flat, 
but wavering like the slap of water 
against the dock 
long after a boat has passed.

Relic

00:00 / 00:45

I’d rather take this road
to that chapel of larch on the hill


but my boy insists, so we step
into a nave of pines


screened by webs
where sound falls dead,


except for the rattle of cones.
Each breath is sealed with resin:


he finds a long bone,
lifts it from the needles:


fox or maybe badger, I tell him
taking his hand


suddenly aware
of our temporary skins.

Publishing credits

The Weight: Finished Creatures (Issue 3)

Trace: The Great Animator (Shoestring Press)

Relic: The Sun Bathers (Shoestring Press)

© original authors 2020

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