Poetry Sequences:

(3) Nemetona, an illustrated verse novel, (Slate Publishing, Plymouth, in press 2023)

(2) ’15 Metaphysical Poems’ in Benedikt Paul Göcke & Ralph Weir (eds.) From Existentialism to Metaphysics (Peter Lang, Berlin & Bern, 2021 (pp. 241-255)

(1) The Bone Staircase chapbook (Live Canon, London, 2020)


Individual Poems:

(68) ‘Swans’, The Moorlander 2023

(67) ‘Bauhaus’ Stride, August 2022

(66) ‘Swans’ Stride, August 2022

(65) ‘A Field in England’ International Times, October 2022

(65) ‘Boomers’ International Times, October 2022

(64) ‘Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead Talk about their Dreams’ International Times, October 2022

(63) ‘The Carpet and the Dream Field’ Shearsman 129 & 130, 2021/2022

(62) ‘Pinecone’ Shearsman 129 & 130, 2021/2022

(61) ‘Jack-by-the-Hedge’ Interim: The Journal of Black Mountain College, 2021

(60) ‘Horse Chestnut’ Interim: The Journal of Black Mountain College, 2021

(59) ‘Taste the Rainbow’ in Veronica Aaronson (ed. Despite Knowing: Poems on Addiction, (Fore Street Press, Teignmouth, 2021

(58) ‘Wishing Wells’ in Veronica Aaronson (ed. Despite Knowing: Poems on Addiction,  (Fore Street Press, Teignmouth, 2021

(57) ‘Blackthorn’ in Dartmoor Collection (Slate Publishing, Plymouth, 2022)

(56) ‘Nettle Soup’ in Dartmoor Collection (Slate Publishing, Plymouth, 2022)

(55) ‘Prime Cuts’ in Dartmoor Collection (Slate Publishing, Plymouth, 2022)

(54) ‘Blackbird’ in Dartmoor Collection (Slate Publishing, Plymouth, 2022)

(53) ‘The Carpet and the Dream Field’ in Dartmoor Collection (Slate Publishing, Plymouth, 2022

(52) ‘Slice of Life’ Obsessed With Pipework Issue 96. November 2021

(51) ‘Talybont Triptych’ Obsessed With Pipework Issue 96. November 2021

(50) ‘Cursory Pastoral’ Obsessed With Pipework Issue 96. November 2021

(49) ‘For the Breakdown Men of the Leamington Spa Vehicle Recovery Office’ on Spilling Cocoa over Martin Amis website, 2021

(48) ‘Scan’ in Maternal Journal, (Pinter and Martin, London, 2021)

(47) ‘Polyphonic Diary’ Maternal Journal (Pinter and Martin, London, 2021)

(46) ‘Top Deck of the Bus’  in Göcke & Weir, 2021

(45) ‘Surface’  in Göcke & Weir, 2021

(44) ‘Brain Ode’  in Göcke & Weir, 2021

(43) ‘on a roundabout going nowhere’  in Göcke & Weir, 2021

(42) ‘Emerge’  in Göcke & Weir, 2021

(41) ‘Pond Skaters’  in Göcke & Weir, 2021

(40) ‘Photograph of the Back of My Head’  in Göcke & Weir, 2021

(39) ‘On Seeing Michelangelo’s David’  in Göcke & Weir, 2021

(38) ‘Presents’  in Göcke & Weir, 2021

(37) ‘Of the Kitchen’  in Göcke & Weir, 2021

(36) ‘Portal’  in Göcke & Weir, 2021

(35) ‘Beech Tree’ in Göcke & Weir, 2021

(34) ‘Pulling’ in Göcke & Weir, 2021

(33) ‘Aleatoric’ in Göcke & Weir, 2021

(32) ‘Logos’ in Göcke & Weir, 2021

(31) ‘Borders’ Poetry Salzburg Review No. 35. Summer 2020

(30) ‘The Lesser Bohemians’ Poetry Salzburg Review  No. 35. Summer 2020

(29) ‘A Narrow Road’ Poetry Salzburg Review  No. 35. Summer 2020

(28) ‘Ancestry’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(27) ‘When the Doctor Talks about “My IVF Journey”’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(26) ‘Over and Over’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(25) ‘The Killing Moon has Come too Soon’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(24) ‘Extraction’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(23) ‘Song of the Silvery Embryo’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(22) ‘Lines’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(21) ‘Sperm Comet™‘ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(20) ‘Sparks’  in The Bone Staircase 2020

(19) ‘Song of Alice Through the Embryoscope’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(18) ‘Shooting Star’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(17) ‘Elegy for a Nothing that Never Was’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(16) ‘Gilt’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(15) ‘Skin’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(14) ‘The Art’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(13) ‘Song of the Day Five Blastocyst’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(12) ‘The Thought is the Charm’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(11) ‘Scan’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(10) ‘Girl in the Aspic’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(9)  ‘Belly’ in The Bone Staircase 2020

(8)  ‘Debussy Writes Images’ French Literary Review, 2019

(7)  ‘Nausea’ French Literary Review, 2019

(6)  ‘Womb’ Dark Mountain Issue 17. Spring 2020

(6a) ‘Womb’ reprinted in Suzannah Evans & Tom Sastry (eds.) Everything That Can Happen: Poems about the Future, (Emma Press, Birmingham 2019)

(6b) ‘Womb’ reprinted in The Bone Staircase

(5) ‘Medicine Wheel’ Acumen 92, 2018

(5a) ‘Medicine Wheel’ reprinted in The Bone Staircase

(4) ‘The Unexpected Side-benefits of a Slow and Premature Death’ in Maggie Smith (ed.) The Best New British and Irish Poets, (Eyewear, London, 2018)

(3) ‘Mid-afternoon’ Moor Poets IV, (Moor Poets, Devon, 2018)

(2) ‘Learning the Ropes’ Moor Poets IV, (Moor Poets, Devon, 2018)

(1) ‘St Davids’ The Broadsheet  Issue 5. Autumn 2017


I am pleased to offer mentoring and support on poetry and audio production. Contact me <<here>> to discuss the next steps in your creative journey.

T: @CeridwenPriest


Some selected poems below:


I am looking at a tree.

I regurgitate my tea and the water rushes up into the tap. It’s getting earlier and earlier. Soon, we are reversing around the Dordogne as summer flies unpick themselves from the windscreen.

Mum and Dad’s ashes turn to flesh in Rotherham crematorium as they go back to exhaling cigarettes and un-watching Crime-watch in a series of bungalows. Meanwhile, at the London Olympics everyone is running backwards. Fewer and fewer people are tapping at computers which are getting slower and slower, as their modems get louder and louder. East London is getting worse. Camden Town is getting better. Canary Wharf is getting lower, Brixton is getting blacker. I go back to university, unmeet my husband, the millennium comes in an implosion of fireworks.

In Berlin, spray paint peels off the wall, liquefies, is sucked into a can. The same thing happens in New York, where everybody is breakdancing. Suddenly, a lot of my friends are getting really small. They are stuffed back, scream-inhaling into the wombs of their scream-inhaling mothers. Somehow, I am still here and hair is being cut longer. The Beatles are back together and all their records are spinning backwards. Except the ones with hidden satanic messages, which are spinning forwards.

Soon, my mother is pushed back into grandma’s womb and women everywhere leave factories and start unpicking their knitting. Hemlines get lower and lower and dresses suddenly puff to  a sheen as everything gets slower and slower, but there are still wombs. Marie Antoinette finds her head. Men wear wigs, then tights and Columbus or the Vikings lose America. The Mongols and Muslims and Goths and Christians and Romans retreat, retreat, cities disappearing. Cleopatra brushes off her make-up. Wheat fields grass over. Ceramics turn to clay, stone circles are dismantled, cave artists brush ochre back onto pallets and it’s wombs and wombs all the way until the last few people hop back across the savannah, their arms getting longer and longer.

The trees welcome them back.


(Womb has appeared in anthologies by Emma Press and Dark Mountain.)



Who ever saw a swan’s egg or a swan’s nest?
They emerge fully-formed from mirrors
necks long as thoughts on this draggy afternoon
practically porcelain,
a thing to be collected or possessed
an embellishment for a city park or royal palace.

My mother’s psychopomp
was a swan
she rode him to her next life
via the Cygnus constellation.

The louvre doors swing open to a fantasy of kitsch
A swan centrepiece in meringue and cream
rococo in feathers, twiddles of foam,
two days in the baking and setting. A dream
a paradise on a silver tray in my mother’s arms
And everyone gasps O Maveen no

You really
shouldn’t have.

At Sinclair’s Collectables ‘tableware cutlery and more’
we share a pot of Darjeeling
toasted teacake, savoury scone.
The mirrored shelves of crystal ornaments rotate
and the hummingbird, pineapple, squirrel and snail
are exquisite, but for mother, the swan.

I never read Wild Swans
Couldn’t bear the footbinding.
Never saw Swan Lake
for fear of the same thing.

It’s meringue week on TV.
The final round showstopper is a swan centre-piece.
What is this pang? What is this magnetic drag
to time-travel to a Tudor palace or country house,
to recreate walking with poise, walking in corsets
flashing the burden of beauty?

What is beauty
but a terrible curse?

This jewellery box is one of the many girls’ toys
my brother had no wish to borrow.
Wind-up the key and hear the swan-song play
as the she slides across the surface of the mirror,
dragged by hidden magnets, she
is perfect as the idea of an S.

And don’t they say they’re eaten by kings?
She looks a dead thing already.
Too white to be real,
a bone picked clean.

And don’t they say she’ll mate for life?
Here comes the bride in taffeta and lace
gliding towards the cob groom
who’ll dunk her head over and over
to the edge of drowning, to exhaustion’s brink
until cob and pen finally peck in unison,

bent necks
in mimicry of a heart.


(“Swans” has appeared in Stride magazine and The Moorlander)

Woman as Stag Beetle Specimen

Was I ever alive?
Was my body ever more
than artifact?

I survive,
like bog-blackened leather
dredged from history,

or an ornament in jet,
uncharred by fire,

full of the nip
of the same dark stuff
that’s locked into crows.

The larva I was
feasted for years
in the wood at the edge of a copse,

but the adult I might be
barely lived a single summer.

A pin stabs through my heart
fixes me to a bed of cotton wool
in a house of tupperware.

I am caught mid-thought,
at the beginning of a beginning,
my pearl wing case split

open, two clear wings
tattooed with henna, out-
stretched for flight.

If you could peel off
the flushed cheeks of insects,
their buttercup, mirrorball masks,
those veils,
you’d see a realm below
of crowbars and wrenches,

skittery, virile,
the very claw of life.

My barbed arms end
in a bunch of hooks.

My face is a utensil,
precision tooled
for the ceremony of violence.

(This poem was written as part of Fiona Benson’s ‘Urgency’ commission.)



I pull from sound’s many gardens a worm,
a wriggling twitter repeated in thousands
the peaks quick and various as glossolalia,
never the same.

Quick, quick I must get this solo down
before the sun rises.

Wrong, do it again,
the run of demisemi-quavers
sounds of a fiddle dipped in liquid,
a song called
called sunrise.

This is what I want to play
sunrise sunrise
in the spongey grass, listen carefully
to worm-slide, worm tremor,

my beak is tearing a glint of pink
as the last the bats flicker home

and the sun
will be here soon and all earth’s busy business

Quick, I need to get this solo down
I tear at the the grass, I tear at a song called sunrise
sounds like a fiddle dipped in liquid
a worming liquid spongey sound.

and when the sun rises with the chorus of cloud
and the orchestra of light
I will possess that dawn with my solo

(First broadcast on the Radia.FM network as part of the radio drama ‘The Assisi Machine’.)



I rollerskate in

but am soon seduced

into the fog-slow unrolling

of a day stretched out and sleepy in front of your black and white telly.


Always drawn

to the hearth and its tranklements,

lulled orange by the coals, I stay to see

the little couple come out the clock as the barometer clicks to rain.



drip by, awaiting

kettle whistle, ice-cream van chime

waiting for you to leave the room so I can shake the bell in the brass lady’s dress.


You shake the tin

of Nestles for three languid minutes,

ease off the lid with liver-spotted hands

and sliding the cream over Coop pear or peach halves, smile at me


and these afternoons last forever

until they don’t.


(First published in the Moor Poets iv anthology).

Charles Olson is a Manx Shearwater Bird

A poem is energy transferred
from where the poet got it,
tiny crystals of magnetite around his eyes
enabling him to detect differences
in the earth’s magnetic field.

If he works in open or what can also
be called composition by field
his acute sense of smell may allow him
to follow all-over currents
as opposed to inherited line.

One perception must immediately lead
to a further perception.
and by star-gazing from his burrow
he creates his own celestial map
a high energy construct at all points,
an energy discharge.


(Charles Olson is a Manx Shearwater Bird is a found poem using cut-ups from Charles Olsen’s essay on projective verse and the RSPB Magazine.)



Learning The Ropes

My ebay seller had no teeth in

when I got to the bungalow.

She demonstrated teddies

every neat stitch identical,

got the singer machine nattering

showed me the ropes. So easy

for her, so hard for me this

regularity, this hushed life

in a moorland town with all the

power of a sewing machine

totally under her control

while the stitches only


away from me.


(First published in the Moor Poets iv anthology.)

Top Deck of the Bus

Knees to the window-ledge,
I am the brink.

I drink the winter tone
of ever-disappearing road.

Tar and glitter pour into me,
I gape at their flowing.

A break-neck speed erosion
of the speckled passing,

I am efficient
at erasing the present.

Horizon-bound, I fall

forwards at one second per second.

and the road keeps on blooming.
but I gulp it into my body.

I am pure hunger,
my life the pang.

The gap at my centre
is the end of all movement.


St Davids

Our father who art in heaven,

Newton Abbot, Totnes and Plymouth

Hallowed be thy name

this is Dave your station manager speaking

Thy kingdom come

on platform 5

is the delayed 15.23 service to Bristol Temple Meads and

Thy will be done

On earth as it is in heaven

first class is located at the front of the train

Give us this day our daily bread

the buffet car serving snacks and light refreshments is located in coach E

And forgive us our trespasses

trespassing on the tracks is strictly prohibited

As we forgive those who trespass against us

any suspicious behaviour will be reported to the authorities

Lead us not into temptation

customers are reminded that smoking is strictly prohibited within the station

But deliver us from evil


For thine is the Kingdom

Windsor Lego Land

The power and the glory

London Waterloo

ladies and gentlemen, the 15.23 service to Bristol Temple Meads is now delayed

For ever and ever

customers seeking a refund are advised to speak to one of


(Previously published in The Broadsheet, 2017)