3 poems by Chrissie Gittins

YOU MISTAKE YOURSELF FOR A LUNA CORONA

Halos beam around my face

               like oncoming headlights.

                        I stop a stream of traffic in Manitoba,

             drivers spill onto the road

      clutching their phones and cameras,

they point their lenses to the glowering sky.
>

It’s the rainbows they’re after –

         where the light bends around drops of ice.

                                      They will print out their shots

             then hang me in their front windows

     for children to point at as they pass by

on their daily walks, dawdling.

YOU MISTAKE YOURSELF FOR A BANANA ON THE SHELF AT BUDGENS

We’ve no choice but to curve together,

my bunch at a safe distance from the next.

Displayed at six in the morning, by eight-thirty I’m sold.

Packed in a bag with the last pack of wholewheat pasta,

a box of in-date free-range eggs, a pot of no-fat yogurt.

I jostle for space with tins of sweetcorn

and a bag of carrots made opaque with a photo of carrots.

She drives smoothly until hitting a sleeping policeman,

forgets to wear gloves to unpack,

holds me under a cold tap lowering 

her allostatic load. I lie in the beechwood fruit bowl 

practising mindfulness meditation, 

expressing gratitude for my safe passage 

from Costa Rica.

She mostly eats one with breakfast, another 

when face-timing a friend.

I’m the last one left in the bowl, 

the blotches join up on my skin, 

my yellow shrinks 

to the shape of a daisy petal. 

Totally black 

I wait and wait to be picked.

The sounds of the house 

slowly fade away.

YOU MISTAKE YOURSELF FOR AN ALLOTMENT

My plum and cherry blossom are profound,

I will try to manage more than one single cherry this year.

As for those moths which get inside your plums –

you can get some sort of pheromone trap. They’re green.

You’ve left the lemon yellow flowers on last year’s 

black kale for long enough.

The cardoon which used to flourish from

underneath the corner of the shed has barely sprouted.

Remember last year you planted purple beans

too soon – they shivered to a shrivel.

I like the way you leave the aquilegias

wherever they may grow.

There’s hope of purple broad beans,

maroon tomatoes, custard yellow courgettes,

an orange squash streaked with green –

which should be very sweet.

You could try again with aubergines.

This is the only future you can grow.

About the contributor

Chrissie Gittins' third poetry collection Sharp Hills was published by Indigo Dreams in 2019. She appeared with her fifth children's poetry collection Adder, Bluebell, Lobster (Otter-Barry Books) on BBC Countryfile. Her second short story collection Between Here and Knitwear (Unthank Books) was shortlisted for the Saboteur Awards.

Related Articles

Stories of Starlight

Mike Smith on his loose translation of Les Étoiles, by Alphonse Daudet

St. Patrick, a real Saint or Sham as Shamrock?

St Patrick is perhaps the world’s best known saints. In addition to being the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick is also the patron...

Leopoldo María Panero, 3 poems translated by Clayre Benzadón

Leopoldo María Panero was a Spanish poet born in Madrid on June 18, 1948. He was part of the Novísimos group ("The Newest Ones"), a poetry group in Spain that focused on contemporary, surreal and experimental writing. Panero was the son of famous poet Leopoldo Panero.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More Like This

Patrick Wright -Poetry

Patrick Wright has a poetry pamphlet, Nullaby, published by Eyewear in 2017. A full collection, Shadows on the Ceiling, will follow in 2019. His poems have appeared in several magazines, including Agenda, Wasafiri, The Reader, London Magazine, Poetry Quarterly, Ink, Sweat and Tears, and Iota. His poem ‘The End’ was included in The Best New British and Irish Poets Anthology 2018, judged by Maggie Smith. He has also been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. He currently works as a Lecturer at The Open University, where he teaches Arts and Humanities, including Creative Writing, and as Contributing Editor at Write Out Loud. He is also working on a second PhD in Creative Writing at the Open University, on the ekphrasis of abstract and monochromatic paintings, supervised by Siobhan Campbell and Jane Yeh.

Emma Lee reviews Lady Jesus and Other Poems.

Lady Jesus and Other Poems Arathy Asok (Authorspress, www.authorspressbooks.com ISBN 978-93-88332-19-4, 70pp, 175 Rupees/$14) "Lady Jesus and other poems" is a collection of contemporary, unflinching poems that...

Peter Bakowski, Featured Poet

  Wake up call and other poems  

Kurt Vonnegut

Paul Turley is currently studying for a Master of Philosophy degree.

4 Pieces by emerging poet Jenny Middleton

As well as being a remarkable poet, Jenny Middleton is a full time mum. She balances writing with the chaos of family life.