Today I’m delighted to host a poem by my good friend Anne Steward, from her second poetry collection, The Colour of Light, recently published by Maytree Press.


Stone made pebble, made grit, made sand, 
ground by pulsing, tidal force. 
Each beach a match, red, black, white, grey, gold 
for many-hued clays become bone-hard crust, 
worn away under water’s weight 
while deep within, rocks melt and roil 
like syrup brought to a rolling boil, 
moving plated-slabs to grind and rise, 
lifting mountains, folding land, 
so slowly we rarely feel 
Earth’s turbulent dance. 
Till there’s a shift, a sudden thrill 
to shake from us our dream of kings 
to pebbles rolling on the beach 
helpless in the drifting surf 
awaiting a beachcomber 
who never comes.

Anne Steward 

My family is at my core. I was a teacher, bookseller, and volunteered overseas. I have a love for the natural world, travel and capturing what I see and feel in poetry, prose and photography. 

My first collection, Casting for Words, was published by CMP as a result of a NAWG competition. My second book, The Colour of Light, has been published by Maytree Press. Beachcomber is from this collection. The lovely cover image is by Claire Jefferson. It chimes with my theme to perfection. 

The books are available from me (email, the Holmfirth bookshop, Read, and the Fairtrader shop, also in Holmfirth. The Colour of Light can also be bought from Amazon.

James Nash, a noted poet wrote, to my surprised delight: 
Anne Steward’s poetry is a miracle of observation. Her photographer’s eye and philosophical mindset gives us writing to feed both the senses and the soul.

Carnedd y Filiast

Time for a poem. This one recently won the Creative Writing Ink poetry competition for May. And almost every word of it is true (I may have embellished a bit about the weather gods!).

Carnedd y Filiast 

It seemed a perfect day, a perfect walk:
the clouds so well-behaved, the path 
so broad and clear, firm underfoot.
It coiled aross the moor like ribbon,
gift wrapped the mountain for us – 
so we thought, joking we’d be up and down
by lunchtime. 
                               But the weather gods 
had heard: behind us as we climbed
those clouds grew black with righteous anger.
Half way up we felt the first soft blows; 
they soon came harder, faster,
stinging our faces, pummeling our limbs.
We pressed on – we had not come this far
to be defeated – fought for each step 
as that gentle hill became an ogre.

There was a stream: it should have been
a trickle that would no more than 
wet our soles. But those spiteful clouds
had made of it a flood that blocked our path.
We stared at it, and at each other:
it could not be crossed. 
			                    Back at the car
we changed our sodden clothes and poured
the water from our boots. We might as well
have swum across that stream. 
We’ll come back, we said to cheer ourselves,
complete the walk another day.

For my father it was not to be
but forty-five years on, I found myself
beneath that mountain, walking 
that same wide, winding track. 
The clouds still glowered, but this time
the gods were merciful: they let me pass.
I crossed the stream, completed the ascent 
begun three quarters of my life ago.