The Wakefield Poets, Laura Potts

Laura Potts

Laura is a Wakefield poet aged 18 and is currently an English Literature student. She has twice been awarded a commendation as a Foyle Young Poet of the Year and Young Writer (an International English language poetry competition for under 18s), having performed with Ian McMillan and Helen Mort. Her work has been published in Now Then, and in her spare time Laura writes for the University of York’s Lemon Press, enjoys playing the ukulele and eating cake.
She has recently completed a body of work after her involvement in the Leeds Leider Scheme.

First Light

The history of home

Twenty years from where we are,
the sob of stale marriage will spill
from the chin of a hill.

I know this. Notice our diction of armchairs
and doorframes. We weep and parch fruit.
In dead afternoons, my cracked porous face thick
with twenty long years of you.

but lover
this light on your lip was remembered,
the bells of your words,
the svelte bulbous pearl
of the globe in your throat.

I’ll write a letter, a bullet, a note.

And think of you on some nights,
the pocket of your neck,
the fist of the wind which we knew
made erotic
the shuddering stars,
the dark world a lamplight
a torchlight

This house howls with the hiss,
with the swell of itself. I think of your mouth
on my skin, your kiss.


Morning on the water

and a wet-mouthed world
gave a lost last look
at the lovers who curled
on the banking
poured a hot greasy laugh
at the stars in the lake.

I remember you
my laughing love

when that night
we had chips
and grins
and no scent of filth
on our teeth
on our lips. Down fingertips
the long hot
silver which spilled
from your skin
I remember

when the feminine ring
of a shop bell the fossilised swing
by the garden shed

rings out an evening.

But here and now,
the garden giggles and springs
at the chime of your name.

Your voice, unremembered,
I’d know miles away.


The past slid back

and our childhood stands
in a long-worn place:

the plush of our hands
by a stammering fire,
the sputtering tongue
of a candle then higher
than dark, brotherly hills.

Still, I see the films of our eyes
now flicking with years:
warming our bones
on the doorstep of home;
the ropeswing,
the late light,
the searchlight
which groaned
in that long afternoon
when you didn’t come home.

the cracks in this ground
still hold twelve-year old feet.
The voice of the child that you were
curling the ceiling to meet
with the ghost of your long-lost

And last,
I think of the distant
chime of your voice
that split
at my skull;

my dull dumb thumb
on the telephone which rung
out the world
for your words,


wherever you were

you were gone.


This is our night,

so we dampen down
stars onto pavements
which sleep on the other side
of the city’s eyes.
The long slow slope of the hills
stretches away
into the dark
and home.

In a park, the mouth
of a streetlamp gutters
and laughs. We are grinning
through a candle hour,
kicking back history
in the arch of our backs, the distant
chant of childhood a train wrecked
far off its tracks, a shadow lost

in some long-corridored past.
Cross the dark hills and
you hear them calling -
the other us -
the children down the hallway,
scrawling a sentence
which one day will speak
in the thawing smudge
of a kiss in this street,

where here and now
we are fizzing
and laughing
and dancing
when it is our night.


Yesterday Calling

a gull snaps its wings
and laughs
as I stretch out the past

to the city with its dark heart
and us,
splitting our skins for a kiss.

On the rim of a memory,
we fizz
like silver pins
on that street
or this.

My lover’s words I remember
like globed pearls on tepid stars
the hot dark of torchlight
from the pavement
as he went.

with eighty-six years in my face,
I read books
and play cards
and years have dried up,
slow prunes
in a vase.

But last,
in my crabbed hands his skin,
doused with river lights,
no foul breath of wartime but
a whole lost world of long-kissed nights,
thin films of eyes candled bright
in the lobes of my palms,
the four-medal arms deliberate,

Afterwards, the distant salute of a bomb.

Wakefield 30.8.14

Da Terre a Terre, the Twinning Goes on
Da Terre a Terre 
30/8/2014 Wakefield Library, Wakefield One

The Wakefield Poets
John I. Clarke:
Each translation is a new creation
I Figli di Mondovì
Poets from the World

Jimmy Andrex:
Poetry is the Idea of Something Coming into Being out of Nothing

Viv Longley

William Thirsk-Gaskill 

Dedicated to the Wakefield poets