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Rachel Deering



the poet

Poet Rachel Deering lives in Bath, England, with her cat, and works in the field of mental health supporting those who are homeless. She has a love of the natural world and what it can tell us about ourselves. Rachel is a director of writing website ABC Tales – where she also shares her own new poetry under username onemorething. She supports Signe Maene with Book Worm Saturday on Twitter, and can also be found tweeting poetry, art, nature, myth, folklore plus photos of her cat from her own account. Her first poetry collection is Crown of Eggshells.

the poems


00:00 / 01:07

                                    My heart is a crow,

                                    its wingbeats, a pulse;

                                    the doctor declared it

                                    a medical impossibility, but

                                    these pills are seeds, I said,

                                    and this hospital bed,

                                    the black earth.

                                    Krähe, I called it – its name,

                                    the bark of its sound, ‘yes,’

                                    I lie, ‘yes, every morning now

                                    seems to be a bright welcome

                                    to life.’ I am used to saying yes.

                                    In laboratories, crows

                                    have demonstrated their magic –

                                    this is how I wield stone

                                    to make water, this is how

                                    I bend metal to make food.

                                    A doctor diagnoses, and

                                    I try to hush the night

                                    sung inside my chest,

                                    of battles and their fields

                                    of dead, I do not tell anyone

                                    ‘no’, I understand cras,

                                    I understand how to endure

                                    today for the liberty of tomorrow.

The Dead Want
Their Moon Back

00:00 / 00:55

                                    The toad winked an eye

                                    into the side of his head,

                                    unrolled his tongue

                                    and snatchgulped slippery

                                    the lozenge of a slug.

                                    The darkness said –

                                    do not steal the moon

                                    or the dead will find you

                                    and fetch it back,

                                    their pearly stone,

                                    their lifeless rock.

                                    Dew settled upon

                                    the toad’s cratered back,

                                    the seas no longer ebbed

                                    and flowed,

                                    owls were struck dumb.

                                    I weighed the night

                                    on the scales of absence

                                    until nothing was or

                                    ever could be marvellous


                                    I cut the moon

                                    into new quarters,

                                    I buried the light.


00:00 / 01:32

                        When it rained, you blamed me,

                        and when your cattle died or

                        the well gave up bad water –

                        it was all my doing. So much so,

                        that now you do not speak my name,

                        fearing its mustard breath

                        will flame a pouched poison and

                        released, will fire and hiss if uttered.

                        But I have never been that mysterious.

                        Still, I speak in little clicks, undaunted,

                        mutter the meaning of each star

                        upon my back, upon the worm of my body.

                        And I swim in the murk of aquatic dreams,

                        sinewy, watered beneath the smell

                        of pinewood warmed in the sun. Here,

                        you ask me to put out the blaze I started

                        and yet, I only know the cool of wet and stone.

                        I think of the soft, round of my eggs,

                        sticky as creamy mistletoe berries, and

                        what if I could change my skin,

                        regenerate the broken parts,

                        so that when, scales falling away,

                        I can reveal the white dove of my virtue,

                        and how then, maybe then,

                        you might again see the truth of me.

Publishing credits

All poems: exclusive first publication by iamb


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