A.D. Harvey & Prue Chamberlayne

A. D. Harvey

To A.K

Were you watching on your own side of town
The thunderstorm last night that bludgeoned down
The copper beech on which I carved A.K.
Inside a cartoon heart, on Boxing Day ‒
The A and K well drawn, the heart quite botched
Because you leaned against me while you watched
And, wind-bewitched, your hair got in the way?

From your window, where that night we knelt
Hands welded, three words whispered, volumes felt,
Did you observe the trees gyrate and fly
And tatters of last year’s cloud castles flee
Before the zig-zag lightning? Did you see
The brightest flash of all, that etched your eye
And cheek in white-hot scratches in the sky?

A.D.Harvey was educated at St John’s College Oxford and University (now Wolfson) College Cambridge, and is the author of nine non-fiction books and three novels.He has also written for (and been written about) in The Times Literary Supplement

Prue Chamberlayne

Riot Sky

The sky drops as a vast hanging.
Cargoes of grey and charcoal shunt in thick,
tufted edges teasing; blue rents,
longingly observed, seal swiftly. The blur
glares, re-veils, bursts carnivalesque,
carmine lips and soot-black flares
let loose from inner earth, powder paint
riotously daubed, yet delicate.

Capricious moments of reprieve
set spirits dancing. Not for the pig-woman,
stout matriarch with a broken heart,
trudging, tears runnelling. For her the riot
spells taunting ghouls, night-time ravages
alone, winter drear stretched far ahead.

Prue Chamberlayne grew up by the River Severn and lives in London and the Aveyron in France. She has pursued languages, revolutionary politics, comparative social policy, biographical research, and rural development in Uganda.