£ 5.00

Helen Tookey teaches creative writing at Liverpool John Moores University. Her first full collection, Missel-Child, was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Poetry Prize in 2015.

Her poems are strange, wistful and haunting. They cross the boundaries of poetic form and feeling, incessantly searching and questioning.

In this new work, there is no certainty—only tentative, hard-won balance. Between truth and fable, intuition and enquiry, perception is magically transformed.



in the glasshouse we are all listeners
we all make confessions
the air alive as rain whispers tell us  
tell us

what I have always wanted

(she hesitates)

what I have always wanted

is the destruction of glass
hanging an instant in perfect balance
and then the consequence: everything falling
exploded beyond thought of repair

what I have always wanted

(laughter angles from glass walls)

is the power of a forbidden word
is to run and run in sheeting rain
is an act so irrevocable it takes away my name

and afterwards I shall be changed through and through
and I shall walk quietly back into my life
and no one will know the language in which to speak to me
and that act will never be repeated
but will always have taken place
and the glass will hang always in its perfect instant
complete still but fractured utterly