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Dr Greta Sykes – Dark Heart

Profile Greta Sykes LE P&W Mag August 2019

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The dark heart of the city, poems by Dr Greta Sykes

Poet, writer and artist Greta Sykes has published her work in many anthologies. She is a member of London Voices Poetry Group and also produces art work for them. Her new volume of poetry called ‘The Shipping News and Other Poems’ came out in August 2016. The German translation of her book ‘Under charred skies’ has now been published in Germany under the title ‘Unter verbranntem Himmel’ by Eulenspiegel Verlag. She is the chair of the Socialist History Society and has organised joint poetry events for them at the Poetry Café. She is a trained child psychologist and has taught at the Institute of Education, London University, where she is now an associate researcher. Her particular focus is now on women’s emancipation and antiquity. Twitter: @g4gaia.      Facebook.com/greta.sykes.      German Wikipedia: Greta Sykes.


The dark heart of the city

I live in the dark heart
Of the city, its muscle
Is ticking
B boom, b boom,
Where the ancient Gods and
Goddesses reside in the walls
Of the Georgian terraces in Marchmont,
Ormond and Lambs Conduit streets,
And good and evil lurk cheek by jowl,
Demons whisper and howl.

The ancient ones rest and wait
With patience, persistence,
Knowing their time will come
once again.

I live in the mauve, velvety
Heart of the big city,
As if in the womb
Where the muscle of love

Bushels of barley

Bushels of barley
Fields of rye,
fields of labour,
shoals of tears,
shoals of fish,
fields of flowers,
fields of kisses,
fields of sunsets,
shoals of kisses,
shoals of longing,
fields of poppies
for the dead.
Flocks of geese
Resting at night on
Fields of flax.
Spring and autumn.

Flecks of snow
When snow still fell,
Flecks of plastic killing fishes.
Flecks of plastic killing the ocean.
Bushels of barley and fields of rye
On the living
And suffering earth.


Chronology alien

On the yellow beach
Of rainbow light,
My drenched torso
Reclines, spread out,
Each cell soaks up the sun
They’re yearning heat,
To dry out the peat bog,
swamps left in my soul
From winter’s frozen, darkened
Paths and winds and rain.

Another layer of evolution
Grows in my mind,
Rich, varied, full of chalk
And charcoal, burnt biomass,
Crustacean shells.
Under closed eye lids
Substrata of existence drift by,
Chronology alien.


© Dr Greta Sykes