Take a Look at This Beautiful Yorkshire Poetry and Photography Book – Offcumdens
We’re showcasing a delightful sample of coupled poems and photographs from Offcumdens – a poetry and photography collaboration from Emma Storr and Bob Hamilton
Grand Départ – Côte de Cray
A surge of wheels, piston limbs and taut bums
power past in silence, swathed in cheers.
The crowd leans in, cameras primed to snap
the blur of heroes in the slipstream’s flow.
Lycra legs. Insect heads. They ride as one
enormous beast: a swaying, throbbing pulse.
A gust of heat blows through and then they’re gone.
The peloton moves on devouring miles.
I’m Whitethorn, Quickthorn, Fairy Tree, May,
footrooted in the limestone grykes, I grow
where others weaken in the windblast blow.
My coat is barkknot weave of brown and grey.
I dance with gales, embrace the falling snow
while bedrock keeps me anchored deep below.
When I wear my budburst leaves, it’s Spring.
I thrive and swell with blossoms sweet and white
as songstretched days are drenched in summer light.
My visitors are hundreds on the wing.
My thornsharp arms protect my modest height,
shelter nesting birds from hawk or kite.
In winter my stark branches stroke the sky,
I offer ruby haws to those that fly.
My lone thorn seeds are spread and multiply.
The Leeds Library
I can't remember when a searching hand
stopped to touch my covers, run a finger
down my spine embossed with golden letters.
Stories stay within my brittle pages,
my chapters filled with worlds no-one explores.
I have no eyes, no ears to hear the words
but in my paper heart I long for Jane
to lift me down, release my printed voice
from dust and dark. I’m indexed, stamped and shelved
with other tomes. I haven't moved in years.
My vellum neighbours keep me shut, upright.
When footsteps on the spiral stairs approach,
the metal walkway quivers and I hope
to be retrieved, removed and browsed, chosen.