A published novelist between 1984 and 1996 in North America, the UK, Australasia, Netherlands and Sweden (pen-name Elizabeth Gibson), Lizzie Ballagher now writes poetry rather than fiction. Her work has been featured in a variety of magazines and webzines: Nine Muses, Nitrogen House, the Ekphrastic Review, South-East Walker Magazine, Far East, and Poetry Space.
She lives in southern England, writing a blog at
I hold the weight of light upon my palms:
Sprays and strands of wine-dark pearls strung
Perfectly from alchemy of rain & sun,
The pulse of summer’s hot & running blood
Shining, clotting on my fingers.
The heat of August sweetens, stains my hands
With fragrant orbs: purple, jewel-like (however small).
For now, I am summer’s queen again,
High on the handle-bar, riding aloft
Between rows & ripened rows of blackcurrants
On my father’s rotovator: around me the whiff
Of petrol & oil, the comfortable putt-putt
Of the churning motor as it chugs & chews
Through weeds & trampled ground.
With grubby hands I grab for currants,
Snatch at the light between the leaves.
Both escape my clutching fingers.
The dapple & ripple of green-starred growth
Flickers, skitters between them with nothing left
But the crimson smear of juice upon my skin:
The dazzling, fizzing, dizzy taste of fresh blackcurrants.