Two new books from Oversteps

As I have recently published the last two books that will be coming out from Oversteps until
I return from New Zealand in early March, I thought I’d introduce you to the two poets.

front cover 200
portrait Kathleen Kummer 200

Kathleen Kummer moved
to Devon four years ago, to
be near to her daughters.
She has worked for many years as a translator, and
her international interests
are obvious in this her first collection.

 

 

When African women laugh

In the laughter of African women
is the silver of bells and carillons
spilling out over summery cities,

and the sound of children playing
innocent games: skimming
stones, hopscotch, skipping.

When African women laugh,
you hear rain fall on the grass
as it springs from the rust-coloured earth,

and the wind as it tugs at the washing,
filling the bright shirts as if
with their wayward husbands’ bodies.

The laughter of African women
is drawn from deep down.  Limpid,
it catches the sunlight, brims over,

a descending scale of well-oiled
squeaks of delight, poured
like balm on the pain of the world.

And if it is true that the flutter
of a butterfly’s wings is enough
to cause a far-off disaster,

wonderful things may happen
on the other side of the planet
when African women laugh.

Snapshot of front cover 200   Simon, 200

Simon Williams lives on Dartmoor where, as well as working as a technology writer, he runs the popular poetry, music and story-telling evenings at the Tradesman’s Arms.

The villanelle is far from
being my favourite poetic form,
but I think it works really well in this opening poem
from Simon’s collection.

Goats

A Swiss man caught speeding on a Canadian highway has said he was taking
advantage of the ability to go faster, without the risk of hitting a goat.
BBC News

I can sympathise with him, I really can.
When he saw the road markings, all straight and white
and him from a place where odd animals stand

on bends, in the dark, unphased and offhand,
so their eyes glint up in the headlights.
I can sympathise with him, I really can.

I’m sure it was nothing he consciously planned;
to exceed the speed limit on ice and at night,
but raised in a place where odd animals stand

keeps you ever alert to dark creatures and
the way they go bump on the bonnet, in flight.
I can sympathise with him, I really can.

Whether it’s ibex or chamois or something more bland,
like ponies or sheep, they’re none of them bright,
for they live in a place where odd animals stand,

where they hide in the crooks of the road, like bands
of bold robbers, who stop you for spite.
I can sympathise with him, I really can,
as I come from a place where odd animals stand.

1 thought on “Two new books from Oversteps

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