Poem, Poetry

The Weight of Snow – 2 poems

Today we celebrate the release of Pauline Rowe’s second Maytree collection, The Weight of Snow.

Described by the author as a sequence of poems exploring a family story of bereavement and the accidental death of a child, and the reverberations of loss over generations. The Weight of Snow powerfully conveys how grief becomes emotional inheritance and impacts upon formation and love. A stunning collection.

Barnes Road, 1967

Wendy kept PG Tips cards 
and badges from Robinson jam.

Billy The Lodger blocked the hall 
with his deafness and Triumph bike.

Little Jody shot rats with a borrowed gun.
The weary beds upstairs were off the floor on bricks.

Tate & Lyle’s open bag – its sugar-plated spoon,
a chemistry experiment, for the mourning.

Mary Hopkin sang out 
from the red and grey Dansette,
as we tried to bounce without any give – 
we’d sing and dance forever and a day.

Mum didn’t want Joe senior to end there, 
unable to breathe in the chaos of Nanna’s death.

Mum said Nanna Ada’s dying face was blue,
her howling made them all afraid.

At first, she’d given up.
So when the fight came in  
the tumour had the better of her.

Widnes Library

my childish refuge,
its magic revolving door,
like the wardrobe to Narnia.

Saturday afternoons 
away from traffic,
the bone yard’s air,
SRA and Collins’ Maths 

I found freedom
in an apple barrel on a ship, 
the feasts of Tudor kings.
Journeys to The New Forest, 
Wootton Major,
the cold streets of Paris,
civil war Massachusetts,
the workhouse and an empty bowl.

The Weight of Snow (Maytree Press) is available now from the author and on-line from the Maytree shop Home | Maytree Press (bigcartel.com)

Pauline Rowe’s fourth pamphlet The Ghost Hospital, published by Maytree Press, was shortlisted in the 2020 Saboteur Awards. Her full collection Waiting for the Brown Trout God was published by Headland Publications in 2009. Her collaborative exhibition Sleeping in the Middle – with photographer AJ Wilkinson – was shown at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool in May 2018. The Allotments – a collaborative exhibition with photographic artist Dave Lockwood and artist, the late Arthur Lockwood – was shown as part of the LOOK Biennial at the Victoria Gallery & Museum, Liverpool in 2019. She founded and ran the Liverpool based charity North End Writers (2006 –2020). She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Liverpool and extensive experience of working in health and community settings.