Sunday 23 April 2023

Clare Dwyer, "Murmurations"


Clare Dwyer lives with her husband in South-East Cornwall and is an active member of Liskeard Poets. Her debut collection If Wishes Were Horses (2019) was published by Scryfa. She was also a runner-up in an environmental poetry competition run by The Literary Platform. Recently, she graduated from Plymouth University with an MA in Creative Writing. She has three children and a gaggle of grandchildren whom she considers to be her greatest achievement.

About Murmurations, by Clare Dwyer

In 2020 I should have been researching for my dissertation of ekphrastic poems on ‘Reflections: The Use of Mirrors and Reflections in Paintings of the 16th and 17th Century,’ for my MA at Plymouth University. Thwarted by lockdown and the necessity to shield, my dissertation became a very different animal.

Drawing on a notebook I kept during that time, the poetry which emerged explored the microcosm in which I found myself and the macrocosm of the cosmos. My poetry collection Murmurations was formed around the nucleus of those poems which I had written for my dissertation.

Murmurations is my second collection and has been published in my seventieth year by Hermitage Press who concentrate on Cornish writers - so, yes, I live in Cornwall with my husband and a head-banging spaniel. We have three adult children and enough grandchildren to form a seven-a-side team, although I’m not sure the ten-month-old would qualify. 

You can read more about Murmurations on the publisher's website here. Below, you can read three sample poems from the collection.

From Murmurations


During the time of plague
these murmurs of words
drifted like dust,
settled on paper
grew shapes.

Over time they twisted,
made pictures,
then settled.

Sometimes they rose
darkened the air,
merged, melded
became charged with meaning
then settled into verse.

Two Boldly Go

         For Voyagers I and II

Two small craft have passed
the point of Heliosphere
where a turbulent tug of war
causes particles to change 
the momentum of their dance.
Formed by solar winds
this protective bubble
waxes, wanes, changes shape
on our elliptical, galactic voyage.
A membrane before interstellar space
which, save for those two, small craft
is uncrossed, unknown, untravelled.

A Quiet Life

I’ve got drunk on stars
danced with the moon
played a deep note
on a tarnished bassoon.
Hid my light under a bushel
found freedom to shine,
been young, naïve –
now aged like good wine.
I’ve given birth
I’ve seen the dead,
read so many words
all crammed in my head.
I’ve been joyously happy
and quite the reverse,
but what defines me
is reflecting in verse.

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