Introducing the February 2009 Readers: 1. Jane McKie

Jane McKie, originally from Sussex, now lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. She has had poems published in Island magazine, New Writing Scotland, The Red Wheelbarrow, Other Poetry and Pennine Platform, and her first collection, Morocco Rococo (Cinnamon Press), won the ‘first book’ category of the Sundial/Scottish Arts Council Book Awards 2008. She runs Knucker Press, a small press dedicated to pairing writers and artists.

The poem below was published in Smiths Knoll 43, and will appear in Jane’s forthcoming collection from Polygon:

Flat Raft

Pulled across the Adur
one swallocky day
on a flat raft, cows

were restless,
mother’s long skirts curled
against her wet legs,

and all the children sat
at the end nearest
the animal reek,

elders up-wind.
It was a squashed day when
mud was water, water mud

and blood ran slowly in the veins.
All the talk and noise couldn’t
blot the buzz of the river

swollen with summer,
dying of it, from one boy.
He held the tiller of a modern

ship in his hand, sailed into
another age, just from wishing
the air be a mite thinner.

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