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Catherine Balaq: a poem



Riddle

I am the colour of sand, when sand's

been pound to slutch. Ochre, yellow, brown,

mottled and cross hatched, ground by years

of rain and sun, tucked up as mud

in the year's silt-layered earth. Dug up dirt.

Thrown or smoothed by hand, by wand, hod,

trowelled, daubed on walls. Home to swallowed

cries, pecked by birds, nesting. Ancient fresh.

Wrecked by weather over time. Trod timeless

as the ground I came from. How wet, how much

of this or that to hold. Pull me free from a fingered

cobwebbed hole. Moss, sticks, stones,

mixed with straw. Coloured callow, brown,

a patch where redder mud was found.


Catherine Balaq is an award winning writer and body psychotherapist who has been published in numerous anthologies and journals. Her work has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She is co-editor of Black Cat Press. Her debut collection animaginary was published in July 2023 with Black Cat Press. Her second collection, Deathless, will be published with Verve in October 2024. Catherine also writes novels and is represented by Donald Winchester at Watson Little Agency.

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