Carole Bromley, poet
Carole’s pamphlets (Unscheduled Halt and Skylight) and three collections (A Guided Tour of the Ice House, The Stonegate Devil and Blast Off!) are available from Smith/Doorstop Books
Her next poetry collection, The Peregrine Falcons of York Minster, will be published in 2020 by Valley Press and a pamphlet of poems about her recent experience of brain surgery, Sodium 136, by Calder Valley Poetry.
The Peregrine Falcons of York Minster
Best observed from Dean’s Park
(bring binoculars and stand well back
so you don’t get a crick in your neck),
Mr and Mrs Minster are high up
on the North West Tower,
on the balcony or on a grotesque.
The falcon prefers The Thoughtful Man
who, for centuries, has stroked his chin
and ignored the crowds below,
the tiercel sits on the eroded carving
the other side of the belfry
but then he’s the smaller of the two,
less powerful, more easy going
with a neater and cleaner look
even when fluffed up and relaxing.
It’s the female who hunts the pigeons
which nest on that ledge in Stonegate
just behind the stone cat above JW Knowles
Stained Glass, Leaded Lights, Decorations.
Look out or your chicks will be
snatched and whisked to a nest
where the fledglings will soon take
their first scary flight from the House of God.
(First published in Diversifly: Poetry and Art on Britain’s Urban Birds, ed Nadia Kingsley)
A new form of torture
to raise my sodium level
which is dangerously low.
They measure out five glasses
of water into my jug
to last me till midnight,
write 1 litre fluid restriction
on the board over my bed
so the tea trolley passes me by,
the milk-shake woman doesn’t come,
the pourer of custard shakes her head.
Slowly the level creeps up.
After five days I’m fantasising
about gulping cartons of juice.
I have a tug of war with a nurse,
will not let go of the jug
which she wants to remove,
tell her if I wanted to cheat
I could put my head under the tap
and drink. I win, the jug stays.
The tea lady leaves me half a cup
and whispers I won’t tell them, love.
I do not touch it. 117, 118,
123, 124 and then, overnight,
SODIUM 136. I weep with joy.
They rub out the notice.
I gulp down glass after ice-cold glass.
(Commended in 2019 Hippocrates Prize)
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.