Introducing the September 2008 Readers – 2. Charlotte Runcie

Charlotte Runcie has been writing poems for almost three years now, after having won the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award in 2006. She went on to win first prize in the Oxford University Christopher Tower Poetry Awards, and has since had her work published in several magazines across Scotland and England. She co-founded and now edits an online poetry magazine, Pomegranate, for young writers, and her first poetry chapbook will be published by tall-lighthouse in 2009. She is 19 years old and lives in Edinburgh.

Squirrels

We gather acorns from the grass,
each seed as round as hours, discuss the time
and how it moves; we head for trees

and lope along the ridged nut rivulets of bark
which creak and twist, mechanical; and hardwood cogs
are whirring backwards, shedding laughter lines.

We cling to all these days like frost,
our tails curled around the time
and necks of trees, coiled and weightless –

you say you sense the winter, smell the cold.
This stream will split by evening; minnows
breathe again. This air would break our lungs

so I sleep along the length of you, dreaming sundials,
our bodies hushed. We weave a downy helix. Then,
at dawn – November chimes with harder light – you stir

once, again, again. We slot
into the seasons every year,
unconscious, soft as clockwork.

(first published in Read This magazine)

Other readers for September 2008:
Michael Schmidt
Helena Nelson
Dorothy Baird

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