Valerie Lynch was born in Hertfordshire, but spent many childhood holidays visiting Dorset relatives, She now lives in a Guildford. After completing a degree at Oxford she worked variously as an archaeologist, a teacher of economics and a psychotherapist, in a long snd varied working life. Now ninety years old, she has been writing poetry all her life and has had poems published by The Rialto and Iota, among other literary journals. "So the Sky" is her first collection: we hope to publish another in 2019. She is also in the process of completing a novel set in Roman Britain.
So the Sky by Valerie Lynch
62 pages, W15cm x H21cm
“‘So the Sky’ speaks from the slippery, strange and fantastical world of the very young and very old, and the nature of what can be understood and communicated across the divides of human experience. Drawing from a life rooted under a Dorset sky, and lived elsewhere, these warm, earthy poems are themselves like the finds of an archaeologist, revealing small intimacies of friendships, of neighbourly acts, of belonging and alienation.
Lynch’s style and form is spare, bringing a vivid energy, humour and poignancy to her richly observed writing. These are poems to read in one sitting, and then return to with a wry smile.”
The house got smaller the day they came to live,
chairs and tables had to budge up
and so did we.
Grandad lost his house to the horses
said dad, and I thought of them careering
and crapping in Grandad's front room
and I squeezed my brain till it ached
but still couldn't understand.
Mum went around with a face
like a pitted stone axe,
Christmas won't happen this year.
The silly old bugger believes in magic
she said, did you hear him tell how he folds
his mind round a horse to make it win.
No money no presents see how you all
like that. But the Christmas tree came in
with roots and clodded earth,
it came from heaven said dad
grown by angels and flown in just for us.
Tell that to the horses, said Mum.
Unsteady in garden bucket it reared up
in front of the fire naked of tinsel or treats
till grandad that lovely man of magic
and tricks came home with silver flying things
of paper and wire and laughing wooden heads
on furry green tails, and grandma bringing
hot cakes forgave him his trespasses.
But mum took hold of a kitchen knife
and wardanced round the floor -
there's no such thing as magic, said mum.