June Palmer is a writer, feminist and crazy cat-lady, who is a bit past the sell-by date but prefers to write about sex and weird stuff rather than old age. In 2015 June published a book of Gothic poetry “The Last Pictish Man”. She has won prizes for poetry and flash fiction, and broadcast short stories. Her poetry and fiction features in several anthologies including the Poetry of Staffordshire collection. June started writing at the age of about eight, right up until life got in the way. She took up writing and performing poetry again in about 2010 "Poets and Pints" group, before joining City Voices in May 2012. Her poem "Listening to Jupiter" was one of six prize-winning poems in the 2016 national "Write Science" competition. Currently working on a novella ‘Finding Frank’ and trying to organise poems for an anthology ‘Beached’, her poem Forager Bee is in the latest No Planet B anthology. June helps to run City Voices Creative Writers Group in Stoke and also supports “Stone Scribblers”. She is currently studying at Keele University for a Masters Degree in Creative Writing.
His head was filled with it;
nose, mouth, and eyes stinging.
Ears ringing with the clang of shovel
on the white
death-dusty kaolin rocks
Clogging his breath,
crystal meth for old skool potters
into raw lungs. The nightmare
of exhaustion, his chest burning.
Wheel turning; clay into china cups
by means of fire
©June Palmer August 2015
White clay was transported from Cornwall to make “china” ware. The dust was eventually deadly to the lungs.
Until 1960’s and 1970’s it was still often shovelled by hand from the back of the transport wagon or lorry
Listening to Jupiter
Call it what you like
The music, the language of the cosmos
The expanding universe, the supernova;
red-shifting light from distant stars
Does it matter
if dark energy exists, filling the space
galactic islands; engimatic energy
imagined but forever unseen
bending space and time across
dimensions, the observable universe.
Can we glimpse our past?
Particles are good vibrations:
An ensemble of invisible strings.
Science may confuse it
yet planets sing,
and underlying unities of nature
I have listened to Jupiter;
am sure of the music of the spheres.
©June Palmer April 2015
Music of the spheres is an ancient philosophical concept that regards proportions in the movements of celestial bodies - the Sun, Moon, and planets - as a form of "music" not usually thought to be literally audible, but a harmonic, mathematical or religious concept. The idea continued to appeal to thinkers about music until the end of the Renaissance, influencing scholars of many kinds, including humanists.
The 101 (Stone – Hanley)
From this small town
to a city centre, in the centre of nowhere.
With pouts and frowns
girls wait for the 101
their legs exposed and white as February,
longing to be gone
Octoberish winds slam
the dressed-for-summer party wenches
in their Primark glam.
huddled behind piss-stinky Perspex
their futures written.
Giggling and mewling,
pushing onto the sweat-fugged bus.
Some old lecher drooling
as they tamp out fags
on cheap fake red-soled stillies;
clutching clubbing bags.
Result! Limbs morphed to rubber
iPhone dropped down toilet in Sugarmills
sit kerbside and blubber
in gutter-bare feet.
Mates chain-link arms for safety
past the police presence up Trinity Street.
©June Palmer 02/06/2015