mary
mulholland

poet

Mary Mulholland has always been passionate about poetry, but has only devoted herself to that passion in recent years. She has a Poetry MA from Newcastle/ the Poetry School and founded the Red Door Poets, a closed group who meet fortnightly. She is also co-editor of The Alchemy Spoon.


Writing has always been part of her life: she started out as a journalist, became chief subeditor of Country Life, then wrote freelance before turning to creative writing. At the same time she is a qualified Transpersonal Psychotherapist, with a particular interest in the unconscious, art and myth.

 

some poems

My Mother’s Daisy Ring 


I never knew its provenance, never saw her wear it

but that day when we divided up her jewellery

I took a ring, old yet new, held it to the light.


A daisy head of seven diamonds, sparkling, as she did,

for sun she craved and colour, as if afraid of night.

I never knew its provenance, never saw her wear it.


O the tales she would spin of her magic colonial past, 

of her childhood where bad things never happened. 

I took this ring, old yet new, held it to the light.

My sisters urged me hurry as I wrestled with my choice, 

tempted by more familiar amethyst, rubies, gold – 

I never knew its provenance, never saw her wear it.

Unguarded, she had at times a hooded silent look,

or I'd hear her sing, her voice soft and low.

I took her ring, turned it, held it to the light,

slipped it on, a perfect fit, my mother’s solis oculus,

her petals furled at dusk, containing what we cannot know.

I never knew its provenance, never saw her wear it, 

but I will wear her ring, shining new, hold it to the light.

The General’s Widow


The world sees only her public face, 

all pearls and smiles, but once he’s gone,

she locks the door, busies herself 

on their once-shared bed now covered 

with a pink satin spread, starts making a 

cast of her husband’s head. She’ll paint it 

bright to adorn the mantelshelf, replace 

those snaps of his sons and ‘himself’. 


Still she can smell his cigars in the air

as she sits at noon in his fireside chair, 

contemplating her scarlet masterpiece.

The funeral’s over, it’s such a release,

she’ll spend the night making paper planes,

hurl them at his red eyes, nose and brains.

Breton Girl Spinning

                   after Paul Gauguin, 1889


She came out of the breadfruit tree,

a breadfruit body, 

fruit of the bread, the wine, a Breton girl


She wants to spin a path to the sky,

calls her angel to send her wings -

wings to match her apron of rose,  


wings like the russet sails of fishing boats.

She calls for cinnamon wings to fly her away

into the lapis-blue sky of her dress.


Then she'll leave the cowly dog, the dogged cow,

the thatched roof and the narrow fields

with their orange and brown, creams and greens


she’ll leave the shadow of her breadfruit tree. 

 

published poems etc 

journals

'Madness of Crowds' in the Fenland Poetry Journal, 2020

'The Tasmanian Spider is a Good Mother like You' in The High Window, 2020

'Twenty Seven' in The High Window, 2020

'By Any Name' in The High Window, 2020

The Making of Dreams in Blue Nib Poetry Journal 2020

'Restocking after the Break' in Blue Nib Poetry Journal 2020

'Bluebeard's Cousin' in Ink, Sweat and Tears poetry magazine 2019

'The General's Widow' and 'The Chemistry of Tears'  in Momaya 'Masks' Poetry Review, 2019

'Mothwings' in Bridges Journal, 2018

'Breton Girl Spinning' in Sentinel Quarterly Poetry Journal 2016

anthologies

Coldweather Anthology, 2019

Coldweather Anthology, 2018

Metaphor for Women, 2015

Bridges Anthology, 2018

Bridges Anthology, 2019

Poetry from Tate Modern, 2010

Poetry from Tate Modern, 2011

fiction

The Kilim Bride and Other Stories, 2017

‘Lordywens’ in Mechanical Institute Review 9, 2012, 

‘River Chants’ in Decongested Tales, 2011

The Threshold Guardian’ in The Writers Hub, 2011   

The Tale of Vérité’ in The Writers Hub, 2012 

competitions

first prize

Momaya International Poetry Competition, 2019

commended

Sentinel, 2016

Momaya, 2019

Artlyst, 2020

shortlisted

Plough, 2020

Bridport, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Wasafiri New Writing Prize, 2011

longlisted 

Acumen, 2020

Torbay Poetry Prize, 2018

Primers 1, 2016

Mslexia, 2014

 
IMG_2851_edited.jpg

Red Door Poets


Red Door Poets was set up in 2015.

We are a closed group of established

poets who meet fortnightly in London

and give periodic public readings. 

Chris Hardy

Gillie Robic 

Katie Griffiths

Matthew Paul

Hanne Busck-Nielsen

Elizabeth Horsley

Tom Cunliffe

Beatriz Echeverri

Mary Mulholland

 
 

©2020, Mary Mulholland

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