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Yvonne Marjot



the poet

After a varied career around the world, Yvonne washed up on the Isle of Mull in 2001. Her poems are inspired by her surroundings, and often link mythology and the natural world. She has been published online and in anthologies such as Black Bough Poetry’s Deep Time 2. In 2012, she won the Britwriters Prize for Poetry with her debut collection The Knitted Curiosity Cabinet, with Indigo Dreams Publishing.

the poems


00:00 / 00:54

How small a space

is a mind,

to track

and trace

our place in this landscape.

Old stories retold, 

folded and pressed;

pieces sliced and plotted,

conjured in gold

or barely guessed.

Fabric as palimpsest:

stone set on stone, dense

with ink, tense with meaning.

Complexity bounded,

a nexus of time and intent.

Tree shadows, courtyards,

a village traced and lined,

a vision confined,

a vestige, a moment:

a world unfurled.

A tight-woven fastness -

a limitless vastness:

this place,

so small a space

to hold a mind.

The Smith

00:00 / 01:44

In his hands the smith is holding light,

his face caught in its glow, thought bent

on his creation. Focused, calm, intent,

with all his skill he brings it into life.

His grasp is confident, fingers deft and sure.

Fluent in his clasp, the tongs coax a fine, 

subtle spiral from the glowing rod of iron.

He wipes his brow on his arm, bends to endure

the flare of the forge: hungry, its red mouth roars

as air wakes the coals. The living metal twists

and writhes, vivid in the shimmering heat. His wrist

transmits the impulse. He hefts the weight, pours

his strength into the stroke, one with the force

of each blow; the hammer knows its task.

His neck is a molten column, his face a mask

marked by the heat, lit from within like the forge.

The anvil is rooted deep in the earth, the coals

are the world’s furnace, igniting the heat

that hides in the planet’s core. Sinews tighten

as he shifts his grip, seeing the work whole.

The hot iron smells like blood, like sex. Like life.

He straightens, observes, moves it

gently into water. Steam tempered, the lucent 

surface, beaded with droplets, gleams in the light.

Outlined in crimson, his hammer lies still.

He stands, annealed in the fires of his own skill.


00:00 / 00:16

The hare lies so calm

in her form of grass,

but she trembles still

in the wind from the hill.

For the wind is a spell,

and the spell is a word,

and the word

is the weight

of a world.

Publishing credits


S h a r e

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