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Primers Shortlist – Louise Ordish

We hope you’ve been enjoying discovering the work of the Primers shortlist as much as we have. Over the last few weeks we’ve been showcasing some of those ten poets in the running for our mentoring and publication scheme with Nine Arches Press.

The good news is, there are still five poets to come. Do catch up with Geraldine ClarksonJo YoungKate DavisKatie Griffiths and Ken Evans if you haven’t already – and enjoy below the poetry of…

Louise Ordish

Louise began writing in 2011 and leads Reading Stanza group.  She recently had a poem commended in the 2015 Havant Literary Festival, and has had work published in South Magazine and on online poetry sites and blogs.



Hungry to run, you slip on worn out Nikes and leave. I lose you
at the lane’s tight bend, where hawthorn tangles elderflower;
track, with my mind’s eye, your long, loose strides to the village green,
where fringed grass soaks your shins and calves. I picture
how you flank the hut where the big boys piss and scrawl.
Once it was my hip that jogged you calm, settled your scream.

At school, they say, you sprint from class to class; lap the field
at lunch and break, attuned to the bounce and wallop of your bag.
This hard-wired running habit has your classmates wierded out.
Fourteen, five stone. We’ve found the doctors’ words contain no answer.
Pressure builds and bursts in vivid rivers from your nose.
Blood marks you out, stains textbooks, carpets, shoes.

The morning that you walk into my room, climb in my bed,
comes with no signage. As you give your awful,
bone-child body back to me, I notice my own breathing,
birdsong and the bluster of the passing rubbish truck.
Barefoot, horizontal in my caging cradle, finally
you meet your own deep sounds, the shake of your fatigue.


Stay tuned for features on all the shortlisted poets over the coming weeks, and find out the full Primers shortlist here.

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