Sunday Poem – C.J.Allen

Today’s Sunday Poem is by C.J. Allen –  a poet who I’ve often noticed appearing on the list of winners and runners up of various poetry competitions.  Clive is the reviews editor for Staple magazine – ( which is where I first made contact with Clive – but we recently swapped pamphlets. 

Clive’s pamphlet is one of my favourite that I’ve read this year actually.  It was very hard to pick a poem to put on the blog – I enjoyed the whole pamphlet, but there were five or six that were my favourites and which I wanted to put on but I decided I should really stick to my rule of one poem so I decided to go for ‘The Missing Moon’ because I just loved the ending with the wolf in it!  But I also really liked ‘The Man Who Fell in Love With His Wife’ (what a good title), ‘Allure”, ‘Poem’ and ‘The Neighbours’. 

The pamphlet is called ‘Violets’ and is published by Templar Poetry and below is a link if you would like to read more!  ‘Violets’ was a winner in the Templar Poetry Press Competition in 2011.

 He has also published with Nine Arches Press a collection called ‘At the Oblivion Tearooms’.  I’ve put the link in below – apparently you can get the first 25 pages free from the website! Bargain!

 Clive has been published widely in magazines and anthologies in the UK, USA, Ireland and elsewhere and his work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4.  His poems have appeared alongisde  several exhibitions and installations.

The Missing Moon – C.J.Allen

I disguised myself as the moon
and went roaming about the skies,
seeing the earth tricked out
in my own light.  The real
moon I’d left behind,
stashed it out of sight
on some derelict trading estate.
But when I returned, the place
had been levelled, bulldozed, razed,
scarcely a trace remained
of the erstwhile satellite.
I trawled my fingers through
the vacant, cratered dust.
It seemed there was nothing
for it but to pitch
myself back up into
the star-shot canopy
and set about the task
of scouring the land
for hints of the missing moon.

So that’s how come I’m here,
catching my heart in my throat
at every glint and glimmer
in the placid reservoir,
each flicker in the rain,
my face an anxious waxwork
of betrayal and despair.
The constellations wheel
like geese.  Meanwhile I sweep
the shore for signs of things
washed up or hunt through quarries
for shadows of lost worlds.
I sail my imitation
over emptied streets,
comb forests in formation
with owls and hope that no-one
notices.  The scarecrows
scowl from frosted fields.
The wolves look up and howl.
They’re on to me, I’m sure. 



2 comments on “Sunday Poem – C.J.Allen

  1. Clive Allen’s ‘At the Oblivion Tea-Rooms’ is one of my favourite recent poetry reads. I’m now looking forward to getting my hands on ‘Violets,’ which I didn’t know about. Thanks, Kim!

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