Find a quiet seat and sit for a while. Sip tea and enjoy.
It was there you said you felt
the first tentative flutter of new life,
catching your breath as you caught your eye
reflected in the antique shop glass.
I think of us perfected there
and how I was infatuated by
that string of amber beads
roped loose about your neck,
each glowing round distended
at the point of birth.
The mirror holds us still,
among the post-imperial bric-a-brac -
your hand in mine; the other hand encompassing
what was engendered there.
This is where we take our bearings from:
the cluttered grandeur
of a faded age: cracked china cups
with gold edged around the rim,
frail christening robes of the long dead;
great drops of Whitby jet.
Reproduced with kind permission from A Climb Through Altered Landscapes by Ian Parks (Published by Blackwater Press ) RRP £7. You can purchase a copy here
Ian Parks is described by Chiron Review as 'the finest love poet of his generation', He was born in 1959 in Mexborough, South Yorkshire. The son of a miner, Parks grew up during the declining years of the industry - something which was to have a profound effect on his later work. His first collection of poems, Gargoyles in Winter was published in 1986, the same year in which he received a Yorkshire Arts Award. From 1986-88 he was writer-in-residence at North Riding College, Scarborough. He was made a Hawthornden Fellow in 1991 and was awarded a Travelling Fellowship to the USA in 1994, spending most of his year in New England. He did research into Chartist poetry in Oxford and was one of the Poetry Society New Poets in 1996.
His collections include A Climb Through Altered Landscapes (Blackwater, 1998), Shell Island (Waywiser, 2006), The Cage (Flux Gallery Press, 2008), Love Poems 1979-2009 (Flux Gallery Press, 2009) and The Landing Stage (Lapwing, Belfast, 2010).
This is the last Tea and Sweet Words for a while joining us next month will be Andrew Oldham with a new column Life on Pig Row.