Poem of the week: ‘Aunt Agatha’s Oils’

A new work by Paula Cunningham

Paula Cunningham reads one of her poems

Paula Cunningham reads one of her poems


In the stables at May Cottage

she had always several paintings on the go.

You’d visit on a Saturday, steal in to see, suggested

on her easel, another study, foliage as backdrop, petals

smudged along the bough above his massive blank

untethered eyeless head.

Returning on the Friday it was plain

that she had worked at it all week –

at twelve you saw the hames we make

by making things more true.

Paula Cunningham’s books, A Dog called Chance and Heimlich’s Manoeuvre, are both from Smith/Doorstop. The latter was shortlisted for the Fenton-Aldeburgh, Seamus Heaney Centre, and Strong Shine First Collection Prizes.