Featured Writer and Committee Member – Anne B Murray

I am delighted to welcome Anne B Murray, one of our two poetry editors for the FWS anthology, an inspiring tutor to many community groups and a seasoned and entertaining performer and poet not afraid to tackle important issues.

You can read about her and read her vivid, haunting poem Viriditas below

Anne writes of herself:

After graduating in English from Stirling University in the 1970s, my first job was full-time tutor in HMP Barlinnie, in my native Glasgow. A wonderful job, but with limitations (literal and figurative).

After five years there, I went on to work as literacies tutor/creative writing facilitator with various community groups in and around Glasgow. I spent a couple of years in Spain as TEFL tutor; returned home; trained and worked in health care/promotion/research before returning to creative writing facilitation.

Since my teenage years, I have been writing – personal journals and poetry on many different subjects. At forty, I summoned up the courage to send my poems out. In the past 20 years since then I have had modest success with poems in New Writing Scotland, Cutting Teeth, Poetry Now, Gutter, The Herald, NVP’s ‘Shorelines’ and in various anthologies including Luath Press’s recent Scotia Nova. I have self-published four poetry pamphlets.   ‘Viriditas’, below, is published this month in Grey Hen Press’s Shades of Meaning anthology.

I love to encourage new writers to keep writing, share their work, learn from fellow writers. That’s why I support the work of the Federation and encourage participants in my groups to join. I like FWS’s inclusive nature in providing information, workshop, networking and publishing opportunities for writers from all backgrounds and of all abilities. I feel privileged to be invited to be joint poetry editor for this year’s anthology, and many thanks to the committee for their confidence in me.

 

Viriditas

The greenness of knowledge

 

Sometimes in the curve of a building

or the shadow of a monument

a door opens and enters me.

Time then is neither spent nor saved

does not stand still nor tick past

is not memory nor present nor longing.

There on the asphalt pavement

I soften, decentre and feel

the greenness rush through me

momentarily and forever

I am the river, pure, flowing,

the velvet of mallard’s head

the wind through trees

first shoots, bright blossom,

ripening fruit, dark yew.

Standing at my parents’ grave

where I too will be interred

I feel nothing; try to feel

but there is no

sense of their presence.

Neither were they there

in that rushing greenness

yet neither were they absent.

Moss on the stone slab

is silent to my touch;

the only sound the rustle

of plastic tangled in branches

like oddly discoloured leaves

or patches of clothing

caught on barbed wire.

© Anne B Murray 2015

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