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Lisa Tulfer



the poet

Dutch-to-English translator Lisa Tulfer is a UK-based writer of non-fiction articles, poetry and reviews (as well as an occasional blogger). Her work has appeared in The Pilgrim, The Cardiff Review, the Earth Pathways Diary, Redemptorist Press, Green Ink Poetry and as part of The Poetry Archive's Poetry Archive NOW. Lisa is also a poetry submissions editor at Full House Literary Magazine. Exploring ideas of identity, belonging and home, Lisa is currently working on her first book.

the poems

Telling the bees

00:00 / 00:54

                  We told them because

                  we knew it was something that had to be done.

                  Trying to speak the words out loud

                  our voices broke, fragments

                  swept away on our tears,

                  so instead we whispered

                  the words, standing by the hives

                  holding hands,

                  the ‘she is dead’ barely louder

                  than the buzzy breath.

                  Did we imagine that the bees

                  paused for a moment in their

                  vibrating lives?

                  Afterwards, it felt

                  not better, but that the

                  worst was behind us.

                  We had told the bees,

                  said the words, made it real.

The average human body
is 60 percent water

After We’re All Water

an art installation

by Yoko Ono

00:00 / 01:30

                  we’re all water

                  and DNA

                  and cells, dividing

                  shared genes and history

                  we’re all blank canvasses

                  and memory

                  intuition and reflexes

                  synapses and electricity

                  we’re all cruelty

                  and pain, potential

                  unrealised or twisted

                  energy discharged

                  in violence against ourselves

                  or others

                  we’re all creative

                  makers of bread, words, art

                  love or babies

                  makers of mischief, belief

                  war, peace

                  we’re all alive, dead

                  fear, hope

                  past, future

                  we’re all strong, weak

                  holding hands and killing

                  clinging to life and dreaming

                  nightmares and visions

                  we’re all hate, fear and othering

                  we’re all love, surprised, consumed

                  we’re all water


00:00 / 01:53

                  There is a certain kind of blue

                  that happens at six o’clock on a February

                  evening, when the sun has slipped

                  off the edge of a clear day, trailing

                  strands of candyfloss clouds – improbably pink –

                  leaving behind a grey dullness that feels like

                  a bereavement.



                  the sky begins to brighten,

                  gains a depth not only of colour but

                  of dimension, and as the colour

                  shifts from grey to blue it begins

                  to glow, luminous, greenish at the

                  horizon, indigo overhead, striped

                  with lines of cloud now darkest

                  midnight against the cerulean

                  blue. The bluest blue, bluer

                  than a Cornish bay, bluer

                  than the skylark-thrilling sky

                  of summer, lying in the grass,

                  squinting sunwards, bluer even than

                  my lover’s eyes. Backlit blue, achingly fleeting,

                  the blueness reaching a climax, unbearably

                  intense and then suddenly



                  becoming flat,


                  Now Prussian,



                  And into the darkest blue

                  a sickle of silver rising, cold

                  and clean, scything across the

                  stars to gather the last blueness

                  and leave the sky


Publishing credits

All poems: exclusive first publication by iamb


S h a r e

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