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Poems published by the Renard Press.

Published as part of Anthologies.

By Alyson Smith Published 26 days ago 3 min read
Top Story - May 2024
17
Poems -Tsunami, Back to Black & Lovesong.

I have been privileged to have been published on three occasions by this fabulous independent press. I have received incredible support from the owner and editor Will Dady. Renard Press is a carbon neutral publisher and a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. Check out their books on https://renardpress.com.

It started in Lockdown. I hadn't written anything for a long time until being offered a fee to write something for the amazing Skimstone Arts https://www.skimstone.org.uk. Check them out, they are phenomenal. Anyhow from that first venture back into writing I submitted a poem based on a dream my partner Mick had had at the beginning of the isolation period. I put forward Tsunami to be included in an anthology published by Renard Press. To my surprise I was longlisted and then shortlisted to be published. The Anthology is called New Beginnings and to quote the editor Will '... is a poetry collection with a difference resulting from an international competition seeking to find those whose voices were silenced in 2020...' It has, as all poems do, evolved from this edit, however I remain fond of the original and its unedited nature which just tells of the dream which in turn allowed my husband for the first time in our long relationship, to share just how scared he was.

Tsunami

My husband dreamt we were in a tsunami;

We were trapped inside a house in an air bubble,

Holding each other tight as the water surrounded the building.

Were we scared? I asked him,

Hoping it was an adventure dream where we would swim to the surface,

Saving women and children in addition to ourselves.

'Yes, we were scared,' he said.

'We were absolutely bloody terrified.'

April was a tough month. Financially frightening;

Our future still looks uncertain.

Physical and emotional illnesses erupted to the surface,

And several rejections from art funds and government support schemes

Causing blind panic - on occasion so overwhelming that we would be lying

If we told you we had not considered,

On more than one occasion,

Leaving it all behind.

And not in a good way.

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After that I entered the next years call out for the anthology Spectrum and again was lucky enough to be shortlisted and published. I submitted the poem Back to Black which was written in response to both the untimely death of Amy Winehouse and a discussion with a relative that same evening as they explained that 'sometimes I was a boy, but mostly I was a girl and it didn't matter.'

Back to Black (after Frank O' Hara, The Day Lady Died)

It was Saturday, 5.30pm.,

when he opened the door of the car,

and I can't remember if it was

cold or warm, but it was bright, and the

early evening sun tainted my view.

It was the day I told him

that sometimes I was a boy,

but mostly I was a girl

and it didn't matter.

I hadn't particularly listened to the news

but knew she was gone.

Gone alone and...

and I thought of my

future I was muddling,

but still it was a future

within the whisper of a song.

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The last anthology is called Kinship, published in 2023 and I was so privileged to be accepted again with my piece Lovesong. This piece resulted in trying to edit out every word that felt superfluous. Lovesong is about the times me and Mick use the bus and when we stand up before the bus comes to a stop I stand behind him and sneak a cuddle of his back.

Lovesong

And soon he'll say

'It's our turn'

And I will push myself upon his back

And inhale the smell from the tweed and the ointment

That calms his skin

Which then

In turn

Calms me

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sad poetryMental Healthlove poems
17

About the Creator

Alyson Smith

Writer & Artist with Level I Autism & a whole lot of Bipolar. Based in Newcastle- upon - Tyne, works as an administrator in a Nursing Home. MA in Creative Writing.

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Comments (11)

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  • Sid Aaron Hirji6 days ago

    Wow did not expect this. I clicked because my teddy fox is named Renard. Good poems you got

  • ROCK 8 days ago

    Thankful to discover your writing and candidness today. I am in Sweden. You spiked my 6th and beyond senses; thank you for sharing tips with the community also. ROCK

  • angela hepworth10 days ago

    Congrats on TS!

  • Beautiful! I'm happy to subscribe to your work.

  • Anna 13 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!

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  • Ameer Bibi14 days ago

    Expressing appreciation is a positive aspect of this story. And we should do that to show the help and support of others in our journey. And yes, congratulations on your top story and good achievements.

  • Always cool to see what people are doing "off platform." Thanks for sharing!

  • I can see exactly what they saw in your work, truly exceptional collection and you’re a deep down kind of writer who gets to the bottom of emotions

  • Some great poems, and congratulations on your achievements

  • Manisha Dhalani26 days ago

    Congrats on the achievements, Alyson. Great poems.

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