A Poetry Showcase from Katy Naylor from new book “Postcards from Ragnarok”

Giant octopus catches old style sail ship hand drawn vector illustration

These poems are from a new book by Katy Naylor “Postcards from Ragnarok” her debut chapbook available under Alien Buddha Press find her online at http://www.voidskrawl.co.uk and on twitter @voidskrawl

Katy Naylor lives by the sea, in a little town on the south coast of England. Recent publications in Selcouth Station, Roi Faineaant and Expat Press.


Danger is curled in small beginnings

The lock of hair that sparked the feud
the first soft sprig of mistletoe

The first disturbance in the water
before the splintering prow and the torn sail
the spear and shield dashed into the waves

It’s hard to unravel the thread
trace ourselves back to the first papercut
the first white lie, the first joke that turned sour

By the time we noticed the ripples
we were already in its grip
and a great eye had blotted out the sun


I will hold my joy lightly, lest it be crushed in my hands
the world would just as soon stamp down with spiteful feet
dock my tail for having the temerity to wag
as grant me an inch of grace
The gathering threat howls through the alley and the bus queue
sandpaper wind prying cold fingers through the cracks in the plaster. 
Hope lives one lungful at a time
look further and it will escape my loosening grip
a sad balloon rising lonely to the clouds 
and so I light my small candles in a bucket 
week by week


The gentle tuning of reeds
shot-silk movement of the waters
this company of stars 
held in perfect tension 
the breath before the curtain rises 

I am ammonite, rigid, curled at the foot of the hillside 
bitter at the heart of the spiral 
the melody unreels, resonance 
melting soft into each brittle point of pain 

I shake as I unspool, notch by notch 
note by quivering note into blue-black calm 
Visiting Hour 

I find it hard to separate you, now 
from the hospital bed, the tubes 
the work of each breath 
the words I use to write you out
you are swaddled deep in your pain   
we tell ourselves you can hear us 
as we would of a much loved dog 
look, that flicker of her eyelids
she can understand everything I say, she really can 
we tell ourselves: 
she went surrounded by family
we tell ourselves:
it's almost a mercy 
your eyes tell a different story 
when you were 15 you lied
so you could volunteer to nurse wounded pilots as the bombs fell on London
when I was five 
you took me on the train to town 
we found fish, in a concrete pond by a tower block 
you sat for hours with a magazine while I watched them swim in the afternoon sun
your hand squeezes my fingers 
I tell myself: 
at least I could bring her this comfort 
crossing the car park as I leave
the air is still cool on my cheek
the leaves on the trees still smile at the unseeing dark


Monday! Tuesday! Wednesday! Thursday!
you serenade your stew
You are starting to anchor yourself in time 
you lace it through your fingers like a cat's cradle 
I am counterweight and shuttle, complicit 
once those threads are woven there's no unravelling them 
In this moment the web still floats wide 
wide as your arms, flung out 
as you wind the bobbin up and clap, clap, clap


2 poems by Katy Naylor “Reflections” and “Flight”