Angela Locke is a poet, novelist and journalist, living in Cumbria. She has had four poetry collections published. Her novels/non-fiction/travel books (Chatto & Windus, Souvenir, Sphere etc) have been translated all over the world. Her novel, Dreams of the Blue Poppy, draws widely on the experiences of the First World War, the lives of the great plant hunters in the Himalayas and the history of Tibet.
She spent many years researching the book, including four visits to the Himalayas, documented in her latest travel book On Juniper Mountain.
Angela has a Creative Writing MA in Poetry and Prose, and divides her time between writing, teaching Creative Writing and running international Writing Retreats. Her latest novel, Tamaris, about the French Resistance in World War II and the aftermath of war, is due for publication next year, and a new poetry collection, Wolf Moon. Angela is one of the founders of the successful Maryport LitFest.
Midnight on Iona
Midnight hypnotises cats into slow walking.
Their eyes glittering in the half-moon,
they chirrup beside me. Puddles wink,
and one shrill shore bird squeals
like a bat in the dark.
The old, slow sea sighs onto sand, and back.
Mercury, quicksilver, is so silky around black rock
there seems no contact, no wetness, metal fingers
stroking a tune on the land. A sharp tune, a song,
sings the silent night to sleep with old tales,
as the moon goes behind a black cloud tower,
a whisper of orange diffused in the sky.
We know mountains are out there, beyond this little sea,
pale with snow, crofts where there is dreaming of tomorrow.
But for now, bats tumble and that solitary bird
cuts holes in the darkness with its call, and I am not afraid.
Walking alone under this luminous sky,
stars tremble over the sharp-cut nunnery,
its gable end black in the pale night.
All are sleeping but for a few yellow windows.
I am nearly there, nearly there at the point
where the world is turning, and yet is still.
Copyright © 2010 Angela Locke
From Whale Language: Songs of Iona: Indigo Dreams Publishing 2011