Portraits of Poets - Jean Harrison
After retirement Jean has taken time getting used to North Yorkshire after many other places – Kent, Warwick, Ghana, Leeds, Birmingham, Ghana again, Watford and Exeter. She has been writing steadily and had work published in a variety of magazines. She was a founder of Settle Sessions in 2013.
Her first collection Junction Road came out in 2009; a second Terrain in 2012. She has had a poem shortlisted for the Forward Prize, and been commended in several competitions. She has also had two novels published On a Wandering Planet and The Fern Hedge. All these books are from Cinnamon Press. Her latest publication is a pamphlet The Tilt from Wayleave Press.
Settle to Sheffield –
that’s far enough, I’ll no longer try
to blow my mind by running round,
though I still picture TRAVEL AND SEE, proclaimed
on mini-buses, from bush villages, faces staring out
at traffic lights, government buildings
the way I stared at surf-boats, palms, a woman
skinning an orange with a cutlass,
and thought, them and me, new here
and out there, more
mountains, seas, forests, cities, countries, languages, skills –
learn, understand, be amazed by.
Today I want to sit, or kneel, in a small place –
back garden will do – hold a magnifying glass
close to pock marks on stones,
see the hooks in a bee’s tongue
how long it is, how the insect thrusts it down
its feet on a petal,
record nothing, sit and look,
and this will be the way
I’ll journey into praise.