Kerry Darbishire, songwriter and poet, grew up in the Lake District where she continues to live, find inspiration and write in a wild area of Cumbria. Her poems have appeared widely in anthologies and magazines and have won or been listed in several competitions, including the Bridport shortlist 2017, and the 2018 PBS Mslexia Poetry Competition. Her first poetry collection, A Lift of Wings, was published in 2014 by Indigo Dreams. A biography, Kay’s Ark, the story of her mother, was published in 2016 by Handstand Press. www.handstandpress.net. Her second poetry collection, Sweet on my Tongue, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2018 and is a finalist in the Cumbria Culture Awards 2019. Kerry co-edited the new Handstand Press Cumbrian Poetry Anthology, This Place I know, and is currently working on a pamphlet and a new full collection.
In Praise of Hedges
Good bones grown to last and burn long into autumn nights:
ancestors protectors winter larders
raided by axe, storm and hailing gnaw.
Do we take them for granted not notice how
by late spring these dishevelled umber skeletons
become rulers and glorious?
Have we forgotten a father’s track still warm in his before
spelled belonging hefted lads laying blackthorn
hazel and haw to keep lambs in and cool?
Have we mislaid the scent of rain company of leaves
shelter after school the labouring on for weeks up the fields
to pleach and mend the gaps the eager tap-echo-tap rhythm
drumming the valley a call to prayer palls of incense
signalling burning brash sweat of intakes
starlings turning February skies jet
then silver with the promise
of sun on young necks?
Can you recall the sound of bees each bird-song held
in arms of blossom
snowing the ground?