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Ruth Wiggins
Ruth Wiggins

Ruth Wiggins lives in East London. Her work has appeared in UK magazines and anthologies, and has been commended in recent competitions. Her first pamphlet Myrtle is published by the Emma Press. A book of her images of women dressed as super heroes (Wonder Women of America) was published in 2008.


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Ruth Wiggins Poetry


Myrtus

(after Horace)

 

Gorgeous boy, there is no need to overdress.

I can't urge you enough – ditch the artifice.

There's no need to bring me pricey black roses.

            Thorny, unscented.

 

And you can lose that spider-spun suit as well.

Come to me naked – a simple myrtle sprig

bright between your teeth. Be mine, right here beneath

            this cheerful old vine.

 

 

(first published in A Poetic Primer for Love & Seduction, Emma Press, 2014)

 

 

 

Birch

 

Prostrate birch –

what's with all the reaching?

 

So keen for something

that you can't get straight.

 

You lean. Invite me to

saddle up. Strong-backed

 

you speak to me

in mushroom and lichen.

 

Go on,

green my tongue.

 

 

(first published in Anthology of Mildly Erotic Verse, Emma Press, 2013)

 

 

 

Gathering                                                                                            

 

The windows give onto a second room

that's been tacked onto the first; this second

room is a room of glass, a swanky green-

house in effect, and when the weather

becomes a room filled with things like fine

and bright and the heat becomes too much,

or when there is a need, as there is now

(for it is Bunny's eighteenth) for the flood

of words, of guests, to find a way into

something more than the sway of chat,

we swing the windows out and into

what once was garden, what now is not,

and the second room becomes all angles

and reflection. Light pings on repeat recede

and Auntie's crystal on the corner desk

trills – get me, in my multi-facetedness.

And Lucille strips down to her Jugendstil

rack, twists green feints across the walls.

And eyes darting, and words leaping ­–

this is us, we have become something.

And heat swoons at the unveiling –

the bone-white, perspiration-beaded

shoulder blades. And my niece shades

her eyes with dimpled fingers tipped with

five neat paddles, on each of which dance

nuns...in wimples. Only she is witness

to gulls (in glimpses) opening casement

after casement, thickly bordered with

white against the blinding revelation –

everything hinges. And the old girl, who

is fighting fit on talc and tonic, thick

with gin, swears down that there's a storm

coming. Her joints are singing – eggs

is eggs, there's thunder in the postbag,

the correspondence is all wet. And deep

inside the unlit quarters, beyond the rooms

both second and first, the kid that cannot

ride the heat, pads about on reluctant feet,

gathering, gathering strength to leave

the fans and shutters and space to be

in his pants and skin, to join the glittering.

The chink of glass, the iconic cutlery.

And it's all a-tilting, the incline of the cheek,

the nose to ceiling, the Darling! the clink

of green. The tart spumante of the pear tree,

around which wasps just fizz and bitch,

each gagging for a hit on this year's vintage.

And the North Atlantic Drift staggers

in its sleep, its lullaby of coast, climactic;

croons – hey niño, better run for it, kid.

 

 

(commended, Buzzwords Competition, 2013)


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