Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 7 July 2008

  • In the wet-faced hours of the night

    considering love, or the lack of it;
    on-the-one-hand-this,
    on-the-other-hand-that—

    in these steep and solitary hours
    come the raw questions.    
    And sorrow surfaces as tears,
    and moonlight finds me, stretched
    like some trussed Gulliver, among
    the little, scampering, bossy needs of life;
    the pinpricks of the new day’s coming cares.

    And yet.
    The day will dawn.  A bird will sing.
    A hundred different clichés spring to life.
    Even in this January,
    light, unstoppable, will show
    the old camellia, up against the wall,
    a shout of lipstick red.

    by Ann Alexander

    from Nasty, British and Short (Peterloo, 2007)

    Ann Alexander's poem "In the wet-faced hours of the night" appeared in her second collection, Nasty, British and Short (Peterloo, 2007).  A first collection, Facing Demons (Peterloo, 2002) was praised by Fay Weldon.  Ann Alexander, who lives in Cornwall with her husband, worked for many years in London as an advertising copywriter.  More recently she taught advertising skills at Falmouth College of Arts.  She won 1st prize in the 2007 Mslexia poetry competition.

    Peterloo Poets was founded by Harry Chambers, still the Publishing Director, in 1976. Its masthead is “poetry of quality by new or neglected poets”. Peterloo publishes between 8 and 10 volumes of poetry a year, runs an annual poetry competition – the 2008 competition will be the 24th – and, since 1999, an annual International Poetry Festival.

    "From time to time it has seemed to me that the Peterloo Poets series is a haven of poetic sanity in a world of modish obfuscation."
    Michael Glover, British Book News