Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 16 July 2018

  • Mandarin Duck

    the gold is punches
    or the gold lean comes from so
    much gore. the heat
    down in our heels. the chase. play
    what is beautiful it is childlike.
    we break for what is
    ugly, for lunches, boats caught
    at this point in another lake.
    for turtles, birds’ bills. golden mornings
    from the train & my mouth purple
    from all the falling over

    the water in my lips.
    & here it is not the root,
    the first of it. we were not moving
    when you hit us but moving from the first
    punch. she said home is where they say duck
    like hook, like come here & here i am
    rotten wood, knees again. i can’t feel them
    don’t worry i mean we’re golden
    like the gold smudged inside your eye.


    by Charlotte Geater

    Our 2018 International Poetry Competition is still open for entries - until 6 August! The competition has two categories: Open and English as an Additional Language – and this year is judged by the highly-acclaimed poet Kayo Chingonyi. You can find full details and enter here .

    ‘Mandarin Duck’ is copyright © Charlotte Geater, 2012. It is reprinted from Birdbook II: Freshwater Habitats (Sidekick Books, 2012) by permission of Sidekick Books.

    Notes from Sidekick Books:

    Charlotte Geater grew up in Ipswich, moved to Oxford for university, and now lives in London. Charlotte was a submissions editor for online magazine Pomegranate, and has previously been published in The Salt Book of Younger Poets and Stop/Sharpening/Your/Knives (3) and (4). You can find her on Tumblr and on Twitter.

    Sidekick Books is a cross-disciplinary, collaborative poetry press run by Kirsten Irving and Jon Stone. Started in 2009 by the ex-communicated alchemist Dr Fulminare, the press has produced themed anthologies and team-ups on birds, video games, Japanese monsters and everything in between. Sidekick Books titles are intended as charms, codestones and sentry jammers, to be dipped into in times of unease. You can follow Sidekick’s work on the press’s website and via Twitter.

    Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.