Carole Bromley, poet

Carole Bromley has five titles with Smith/Doorstop Unscheduled Halt, Skylight, A Guided Tour of the Ice House, The Stonegate Devil and Blast Off! She also has one collection, The Peregrine Falcons of York Minster with Valley Press and a pamphlet, Sodium 136 with Calder Valley

In 2022 Carole won the Caterpillar Prize, was placed third in the Hippocrates Prize (Health Professional Category) and commended in the Ware competition. She is a previous winner of the Bridport and the Hamish Canham Award. Carole is an Arvon tutor and mentor for the Poetry Society. She is the Stanza Rep for York.

Questions that will never be answered Minster

Where did my sense of smell go on Day 3
when I sniffed Lydia’s hyacinths,
Alastair’s strawberries? Nothing.
I pressed the buzzer but the doctor said
Let’s worry about one thing at a time.

What happened to my taste buds on Day 4
when the fish from the trolley
tasted of nothing, and the yogurt and the coffee?
I told the nurse. She made a note
but had more urgent matters to attend to.

Why can’t I hear, I said, Day 5
but the houseman’s reply was filings 
in a washing machine. I panicked then
though he went on mouthing like a goldfish
It’s because we had to drain your spinal fluid.

Day 6 was the biggie when I said
the letters on the notice-board were blurred.
They put me in an ambulance with a nurse,
whisked me to the eye hospital
where I was told to always wear my glasses.

Day 7 I was waiting for touch to go,
kept running my fingers over the blanket,
feeling every hair like it was precious.
On Day 8 I came back to my senses.

(Third prize winner, Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine 2022)

Scrambled

Alfred Hitchcock was afraid of eggs.
He never put one in a film;
the thought of swallowing an egg,
even by mistake, made him gag.

As a child, he couldn’t bear
to watch his mother crack an egg
into a bowl, slop the yolk back and forth
in the two halves of the shell.

Show him a meringue, he’d run screaming
out of the room. I’m not suggesting
that’s how I felt about you
but I have never got over my fear 

of breaking you, of finding out
how delicious you might be inside.
Love, I think, conquers disgust,
I’m sure I read that somewhere.

If you love someone you love 
all of them, the egginess, 
the slipperiness, even,
dare I say it, the flecks of shit.

My love, nothing about you
repelled me and that’s the truth of it.
Get over your fear, Alfred.
Imagine what you’re missing:

All those Eggs Benedict, 
Victoria Sponge, Baked Alaska.
Think dippy eggs, Hitch,
think chocolate mousse.

(Highly commended, Ware competition 2022)

Read more about Carole »

Winner of many prizes, including the Poetry Society’s 2019 Hamish Canham Award, Carole is an experienced teacher and workshop leader and is available to work in schools and at festivals. She is an Arvon tutor, mentor for The Poetry School and runs poetry surgeries for The Poetry Society at York Explore.

Blast Off!

Blast off on an exciting journey into space, the past, fairytales with a difference, under your bed, and, above all, into the imagination.

From riddles, clerihews, and rhyming couplets, to fairytales, Christmas angels, and magnesium... With poems to curl up with, poems for bedtime, and poems just crying out for audience participation, Blast Off! is a cheeky, curious, and lyrical collection for children.

Ten, nine, eight...

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Pry'vit

‘In these tragic times of invasion and horror for the people of Ukraine and peace-loving people worldwide, a calm and seemingly simple poem which expresses (with no fanfare) an act of humanity ‒ meeting ‒ acknowledgement. I have thought about it every day since I first read it. Hello. There you are. You need a pencil too. We may not speak the same language or know one another’s history exactly, but I recognize you. As a caterpillar in a garden recognizes a leaf ‒ as a child recognizes the moon ‒ hello. This is what we do together.’ Naomi Shihab Nye