2 poems by Pratibha Castle

Pratibha Castle(1)

Forest Eulogy
I choose a druid oak 
to oversee your journey, 
rest my back 
against its gravelled spine, 
sense its heartbeat 
syncopate with mine.

A winter past, 
we savoured wine
sparkled to rubies 
by flickers in the grate, 
crackling bark, guzzling

logs, bone chips 
and ash silky 
as the apple blossom talc 
you loved. 

Next day, you watched 
me fork the log’s dregs 
beneath your favourite David Austen. 

Your last choice patience, 
you rest now 
beside the grate 
in a copper urn. 

Dawn sweeps away the night 
as I gather ash 
and flecks 
in a shovel 
arthritic with rust, 

cradle your pot, 
pad a Gretel trail 
of golden dapple 
to your guardian tree, 
sprinkle ash 
about its knuckley roots.
Lift my head to the echo 
in a blackbird’s eulogy 
of your song. 

Dawn Walk at Wittering 

The sea sparkles, 
a glimmer 
of fallen 
stars, glint 
on the horizon 
of coral light. I pause 

at the water's edge, 
bowl my 
hands as 
if dawn 
might be 
cradled like 
a gull’s egg. Waves 

sluice the shore, 
the legs of an oyster 
catcher stood, 
head bent, 
a prophet 
my bare toes 

scrabbling at lines 
fine as capillaries. 
Mysteries clammed 
in sand and heart 
that, as I watch, disperse. Sun 

seeping through the clouds 
is an ache for my
mother’s smile 
at our chance 
meeting by the Cross 
when, instead of spoiling her 
with tea and craic, 
I hurried on. 

Forest Eulogy appeared in Caduceus Magazine Spring 2021
Dawn Walk appears in A Triptych of Birds & A Few Loose Feathers (Hedgehog Poetry Press 2022)

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Pratibha Castle, an Irish born poet, lives in West Sussex. Her award-winning debut pamphlet A Triptych of Birds & A Few Loose Feathers (Hedgehog Press) was published in 2022. Widely anthologised, her work appears in Agenda, Drawn To The Light, HU, Blue Nib, Lime Square Poets, The Lighthouse and Alchemy Spoon amongst others. Highly commended and long-listed in various competitions including the Bridport Prize, Bray Literary Festival, Brian Dempsey Memorial, Sentinel Literary Journal and Binsted Arts competitions, and given special mention in The Welsh Poetry Competition. Her second pamphlet, also published by Hedgehog Press, is forthcoming in 2023.

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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