lift my hooves for gallop,
rise as my white wings open.
Wind rushes into my pricked ears.
Excitement whinnies from my mouth,
ripples through my flanks, drives me
towards a place that’s always cloudless.
Below me are snow-spattered peaks,
valleys where rivers wander, where trees
are laden with oranges, small suns
which pay homage to the sphere above.
Below me are huge cities with domes,
spires and innumerable buildings,
the tallest invade the blue of sky.
I miss nothing: the glassy stare
of cars stampeding like maddened cattle,
humans fleeing from burning towns,
forests felled like mighty armies,
the sea hurling itself in fury
at the land, barren fields thirsting
for water, skeletons of starved creatures.
I choose a verdant slope when I land,
hoof its milky grass and a spring
bubbles up from earth that’s rich
with squirming worms. Then I rejoice
for I am the breath in and the breath out,
I am the quickening which comes unbidden
to the mind, blossoms into words
that tug the heart, I am sounds which bell
the air and enthral the ear, shapes
and colours which come together
to sing. I counter hatred, destruction.
I will not be stamped out.
from Lifting the Sky (Ward Wood Publishing 2018)
© 2019, Myra Schneider
MYRA SCHNEIDER has had eleven full collections of poetry published. Her most recent publications are Lifting the Sky, Ward Wood 2018, The Door to Colour (Enitharmon 2014) and the pamphlets Five Views of Mount Fuji , Fisherrow 2018) and Persephone in Finsbury Park, (Second Light Publications 2016). Other publications include books about personal writing, in particular, Writing My Way through Cancer, Jessica Kingsley 2003 and Writing Your Self (co-written with John Killick), Continuum Books 2008. Myra’s books also include three novels for young people. She was shortlisted for a Forward Prize in 2007 and her poetry has been published in many anthologies and well-known journals, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in Poetry Please and on Radio 3. She has co-editeD anthologies of poetry by contemporary women poets and is consultant to the Second Light Network for Women Poets. She writes reviews and articles about poetry and co-organizes the local Poetry in Palmers Green programme with poet Katherine Gallagher. She has run one-off poetry workshops in many parts of England, also in Ireland and Normandy and has tutored for The Poetry School since it was started by Mimi Khalvati in 1997. She lives in London UK. She has taken part in many poetry festivals and done readings all over the UK and in Ireland and Trinidad. She has also collaborated with up and coming artist Robert Aldous.