In the unusual circumstances posed by the corona virus, formal launches of Poetry have been cancelled – at least for now. So I would like to welcome you to the virtual launch of publications by Red Squirrel Press. The first is Heft by David J Costello.
Altitude affects them.
Fixes contours in their flesh.
They learn the valleys from their mother’s milk,
assimilate the paths’ worn ink, the brutal rock,
the hoarse voice of the heather.
Every lamb is impregnated with its map.
Each day the shepherd and his dogs
corral them on the lower slopes
but their internal compass
tugs them back into their heritage of rock,
the heather’s cackle,
and the milky-white cartography of snow.
He found her name
amongst the unused words
his mouth forgot it knew
and like a moth
discovering a flame
he caught the flicker
of her face inside it’s frame
and for the briefest time
of all the loss and loneliness
that kept him there
until his tears erased her to a blur
and cleansed his grief.
Her visits seemed so very brief.
Drawing the curtains dislodged it.
Now it bothers me at night.
The whirr of its wings.
Its little thermals bristling
the stubble on my face.
The way it nuzzles into dreams.
I see it with my eyes closed.
Its floury wings dibble
powdery clouds all over the place
and now it speaks to me as well.
I never catch its question
but I recognise the voice.
Your last words when you fell asleep
and I got up and drew the curtains back.
David J. Costello lives in Wallasey, England. He has been widely published and anthologised. David has won prizes in a number of competitions including both the Welsh International Poetry Competition and the Troubadour International Poetry Competition. His latest pamphlet, No Need For Candles, was published by Red Squirrel Press in 2018. David’s first full collection Heft is published by Red Squirrel Press in 2020.
You can buy copies of this book from the Red Squirrel Press website, or signed copies from David’s site at https://www.davidjcostellopoetry.com/ . And later this year, we hope to have live launches, with the usual wine and (potentially) squirrel cookies!