Robyn Bolam was born in Newcastle, grew up in Northumberland, and lived in Berkshire, Kent, Yorkshire, Scotland and London before moving to Hampshire last year. Her poetry collections, published by Bloodaxe, are: The Peepshow Girl (1989), Raiding the Borders (1996), and New Wings: Poems 1977-2007 (2007), which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Robyn has taught widely in Higher Education and has also been a tutor and reader for the Arvon Foundation. She is currently Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Southampton University and Writer in Residence at Reading University.
The poems in New Wings travel from Scotland to Stockholm, to the Californian desert, and from Sydney to Tyneside.
You can find more information about Robyn at: www.contemporarywriters.com
Cacti and Love
I knew the desert without driving to it:
the road went straight through my forehead.
Fat branch stumps of Joshua trees,
like a cross between a cactus and a palm,
stopped a long way short of the clear deep sky.
Cacti reminded me of my mother –
difficult to touch without injury to each other.
But when she was happy, relaxed, no tensions,
her smiles were exotic, unexpected flowers.
Her cacti bear with me and still blossom.
We both needed love: I still need it now,
and hope is everywhere in a desert –
cacti bloom; light lifts us into its space.
We forget alien distance, the lack of water:
cacti and love outlive their owners.